Saturday, August 26, 2006

Some Local News From Beautiful Bracknell

I thought you might find a sample of local news to be interesting, given that the majority of you have never been to Bracknell, England. The following are all items from the "Bracknell Standard," a free, local, weekly newspaper that someone puts through the letter slot in my front door. The paper comes out on Thursdays, although it doesn't seem to make its way through my door until Fridays. These are all from this week's issue. I have paraphrased and shortened the stories, because I write better than the reporters that work on this paper and I want to insert commentary in my own, unique style.
Teen pregnancy rates have fallen by 30.7%, since 1998. There goes Bracknell's claim to fame. Most people who are familiar with Bracknell think of pregnant school girls, when they think of Bracknell. Most people with sense try not to think of Bracknell at all, any more than they have to. If this trend continues, perhaps the local council will have to think of a new image to replace that of the girl in her school uniform, pushing a baby pram. Of course, the local government is trying to take credit for this drop, since the borough has had the biggest drop in under eighteen pregnancies in the entire Southeast of England. That's probably due to starting from a higher rate than anywhere else. The politicos don't say how they know it's been their "initiatives" that have caused the drop and not the influx of a better class of people seeking more affordable housing, which has driven up local prices and led to new home construction.
In another story, a survey, conducted by the Halifax Bank, indicates that life in Bracknell is better than average. Yes, hard as it is to believe, there are worse places than Bracknell in which to live, in the United Kingdom. The borough is ranked 68th out of 408 "local authorities." Bracknell scored high in employment, with 82 percent of people having a job. It doesn't say anything about the quality of the job, nor pay rates. Burglary rates are low, possibly due to the fact that most of us have nothing worth stealing. The article doesn't say how many burglars live in Bracknell, but ply their trade in more well-to-do neighboring towns, like Windsor, Ascot, or Sunningdale. The only area the borough scored lower than the national average seems to be education. No surprise there, as I could tell from the school leavers I used to meet that the schools must be pretty crap, given that they turn out people who can't spell, don't read very much, can't speak English well, don't know geography, and don't know history. This is one reason why, when I was married, I insisted that we remain living outside of Bracknell. I didn't want my step-children going to the local schools, here.
Finally, the front page story is that there is a proposal to open a school for young sex offenders, in the Bracknell village of Binfield. Some charity, called Swaay, wants to open the school. Swaay specializes in assessment and treatment of boys who have been victims of abuse and who have become abusers themselves. Will they be teaching them how to be better sex offenders, I wonder? Maybe have classes in, "how not to get caught," or "how to con your prison psychologist." Surprisingly, some local residents object to this proposal. I can't understand why. This might help arrest Bracknell's declining teen pregnancy rate. The Borough Council have received twelve objections to the application to change the use of a building, Cressex Lodge, to allow it to be used as a school. How ironic that the name, "Cressex," has the ending, "sex." Don't worry, people around here object to every proposed development. Most of them seem to go ahead anyway, so I wonder if the Council have become immune to the endless stream of objections to things. The most notable part of the story is that Swaay already runs one of these schools in Bracknell, although it doesn't say where. Sex offender schools might be a new growth industry for the town.
Well, there you have it...a survey of the local news. As you can now, clearly, see, it's amazing anyone ever wants to move out of this area. If you live outside the UK, I know the above will tempt you to jump on the next plane, brave the threats of terroist bombings, and race right over here. Even if the above doesn't sound like it appeals to your taste, I urge you to visit Britain. There are other parts and I am sure we can find one to satisfy you.


Blogger caevans said...

Excellent page, being a Bracknell resident I can identify with many of the remarks here. Certainly gave me a good chuckle. I think oyu should write for the paper, I much prefer your comments to the ones that come through my door every week.

4:11 PM  

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