Pond Life Prospects?

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Wandering out across the park with the dog on a sunny crisp spring morning I thought; “how pleasant to be retired and living in a peaceful quaint rural market town, it doesn’t get much better than this…

A brief interlude, quickly shattered by the sounds of wailing emergency services sirens making haste through the town, that and the group of foul-mouthed yobs on the park bench, consuming their early morning fix of Numpty Power rocket fuel… “Hey Mr does yur feckin Rotti bite?” The youth look perplexed and scratched his head as I retorted, “only on command young man, only on command.” We continued on our way home, via the newsagent and coffee shop, to get supplies for the next part of the morning ritual.

Once home and reading the paper I noted how apparently; “the number of complaints about estate agents hit a record level this week.” Hardly surprising I suppose, especially when you consider those in the business have been the butt of ridicule and disdain for many a year. I’m sure if it hadn’t been for the bankers, estate agents would still be somewhere near the top of the public hate hit list. Judging by the local weekly rag coverage, there is going to be some additional traffic for the Property Ombudsman‘s inbox?

The Telegraph: An Estate agent accused of describing locals as “pond life and smelly” in property advert – We’ve all found ourselves on the end of an estate agent’s rhetoric, whether looking at a house that is cosy small, conveniently located near a busy road or one that offers an “opportunity for renovation” it needs knocking down… (Read more)

Ian Bebbington the agent has insisted, his description of the property for sale in Northallerton, was simply “trying to enthuse prospective buyers to the green-fingered benefits of the huge rear garden.” Hmmm? Some might describe it as a piece of astute marketing, given the subsequent national media coverage however, others would write it off and no doubt condemn it as a stereotypical (all be it tongue in cheek) slight on the quality of life on a council estate?

I suppose in modern parlance I should really describe the area as; an area of accomodation comprising a mixture of private and social housing. It’s certainly not on a par with Swamp-Sur-La-Mer, as far as social deprivation goes however, you would also be stretching things a little to try to describe the area as ‘up and coming’.

Too be fair the agent’s advert show’s a home that many would in fact be happy to own but like many, the issue is probably the area. However, far from being scruffy, smelly or being full of pond life, Northallerton is actually a reasonably thriving and attractive North Yorkshire market town. Or at least, so say’s the Telegraph’s Nick Britten as he gives you 10 reasons to move there.

I find it strange that he cites the local HMP / YOI facility, as an ‘attraction’? To be fair, Nick Britten does acknowledge this himself. I wonder if it’s relatively close proximity to the property for sale has anything to do with the comment?

I’m sure someone required to make a weekly pilgrimage by stolen car to visit their loved ones, will note the advantages for reducing the carbon footprint of their journeys. The property is also within easy running distance from the town centre; an absolute must when your hoody or tracksuits pockets are laden down with ‘samples’ from the latest High Street ‘shopping’ trip! There could be so many advantages to living in the area, as many from the North Eastern coastal region have already realised.

Now I have no desire to slip into the stereotypical descriptors used by Mr Bebbington however; one major advantage of social housing (aka Council Estate) for a police officer was, you generally knew where to start looking for your regular customers! That said, I have also known many respectable and lovely people who lived on these estates.

Indeed in years past, most provided accommodation for police officers was located in or very near these estates. But that was in the days when greater links, both tangible and social, existed between cops and the communities they served. Often, there was also an element of social and community spirit, a kind of peer pressure that in general, tended to encourage people to make an effort. Some were even turned into respectable law-abiding citizens.

Unfortunately it doesn’t often happen these days and Ian’s ‘pond life’ is all too prevalent in some areas, especially when policing is reduced!

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