19 April 2024

Devoid of values

We don’t usually have really negative stories on the front page.

As a community newspaper we try to highlight the good things that local people are doing and that others can get involved with, such as local events and attractions and the many fundraising initiatives that are increasingly necessary these days.

We don’t ignore crime, but if possible we try to be constructive and provide a medium for people to debate issues and find solutions to problems.

It’s a shame, therefore, that this week’s top story on the South Holderness edition focuses on a spate of vandalism in Patrington, which is causing increasing concern in the village and even forcing the man behind its Remembrance displays to think again about putting them out this year for fear they’ll be destroyed.

I don’t really want to comment further on this particular case because (I hope) it’s being dealt with by the relevant authorities, but it’s not an isolated thing, is it? We seem to be seeing more and more of this mindless destruction in every city, town and village (the pointless felling of the Sycamore Gap tree in Northumberland also springs to mind).

Is it that we hear more about such incidents because of social media, or are we beginning to see the products of a society that is increasingly being taught to learn the price of everything and the value of nothing?

People who carry out vandalism of treasured community assets must have absolutely nothing in their lives – they clearly do not remotely understand or appreciate art, culture, sport or indeed anything that makes most other people’s worlds go around. I haven’t really got space here to take a deep dive into why this may be, but it suggests a growing and worrying malaise.

When many local organisations have to beg and borrow just to bring arts and culture to the community, I guess it’s understandable why some people are growing up utterly devoid of it, and so they end up having nothing better to do than go around destroying things. They seem to even take pleasure in it. It’s very sad.

Our Hornsea front page concerns East Riding Council’s car parks policy, which, in a nutshell, seems to be – if our machines don’t accept cash and you’re unable to use an app, then find somewhere else to park otherwise you’ll be fined.

I mean, I’m a complete tech geek but even I sometimes baulk at using apps for parking as there seems to be a different one for every car park you use, they often charge an additional processing fee, and of course, they can be a huge barrier to elderly and disabled people.

The gentleman who raised the issue was unable to pay via the app when the machine wouldn’t accept cash, and was fined as a result. Surely this is discriminatory?

The council was discussing the matter as we went to press, so hopefully we may see a change to this policy, which seems a bit mad to me.

And finally, as I mentioned last week, I am actually on holiday next week. On a plane to another country and everything – something I’ve not done in nearly four years. I’ll be keeping an eye on things – but there may be cold beverages involved.

See you in a couple of weeks!