Nanny Knows Best

Nanny Knows Best
Dedicated to exposing, and resisting, the all pervasive nanny state that is corroding the way of life and the freedom of the people of Britain.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Prats of The Week

Prats of The WeekIt is only Wednesday, yet I find myself having to award yet another "Prats of The Week" award.

Needless to say it goes to yet another useless, and failing, local council.

Seriously, can anyone think of the slightest reason why we allow these idiots to tax us and interfere into our lives?

Anyhoo, this week's second award goes to Midlothian Council, which is paying to keep the lights on in a disused school in case intruders break in and injure themselves.

Yes, you did read that correctly!

Seemingly, the "brains" in Midlothian council believe that it has a "duty of care" to protect anyone who enters the building.

Isn't this another example of a council trying to justify its existence, by ascribing to itself all manner of powers and responsibilities that it doesn't really have?

They are not Superman or Batman, are they?

Maybe we should stop taking these councils at their word, when they use the excuse of "we have a responsibility..." for jacking up council tax etc. It is time to confront them and point out that, like the emperor, they have no clothes.

Now where was I?

Oh yes, Dalkeith High School just outside Edinburgh, has been closed since 2004.

Midlothian council is currently in talks to sell the building. However, until title passes they keep some lights on (using timers) and ensure that a security guard checks the school twice a night.


A Midlothian council spokesman said:

"A small number of lights,

including some on timers,

are left on during the winter months

to protect any person moving around

the building from fall hazards.

Midlothian Council as owners of the property

have an obligation to do this under a common law

duty of care and in addition have a statutory

duty to do so imposed by the Occupier's Liability

(Scotland) Act 1960

Errrmmmm...wouldn't anyone moving around the building, in the middle of the night, be there illegally then?

So, if they injure themselves, wouldn't it be their own fault?

So, why should we give a fark about them???

The council, needless to say, came to their decision after carrying out a risk assessment on the school when it closed. Much like Pavlov's dogs, I instinctively retch and reach for the sick bag now whenever I hear the phrase "risk assessment".

Anyhoo, the risk assessment (BLAAARGH!!! there I go again!) resulted in the council boarding up the ground floor windows to prevent access, keeping the building's burglar alarm and employing a security company to check it twice a night.

The cost to the taxpayer of this little exercise, since 2004, in preventing criminals from injuring themselves has been £3K on lighting and another £10K on security.

PJ Lewis, a former Conservative candidate for the area, goes straight for the jugular:

"It typifies the shoddy way the council

runs it assets and has handled

Dalkeith High School in particular.

All the lights are on and there is no

adequate management of access or controls against vandalism.

It's shocking, an unbelievable triple whammy,

with fire risk, expense and environmental waste

Midlothian council, well deserved "Prats of The Week".

Drop them a note, to let them know that they have won:


  1. smithy9:45 AM

    Very appropriate story. As with most councils "the lights are on, but there's nobody at home".

  2. Surely there should be a "Prat of the Week" award going to pillocks at Ofcom who have banned the return of the "go to work on an egg" campaign because they are worried that the stupid public might take it too literally and only eat eggs thus not get a balanced diet?!

  3. Grant8:20 PM


    I am disgusted that you have deemed fit to make an award North of The Border when there are so many potential recipients south of Hadrian's very sensible wall.

    Surely we already subsidise the Scots more than adequately and yet still pander to their wish that they should rule over us through what we laughably call the democratic process.

    If you are not careful you will fall foul of one of the numerous new quangos prowling around seeking out 'hate crime' or 'race crime' or 'stuff we think we don't like' crime for such an act of wanton ridicule.

    Restricting yourself to making the awards to people or things in the English territories may help defer that moment of truth.


  4. Anonymous8:29 AM

    I quite agree that the local council has a duty of care and should immediately issue all burglars with torches.(with a hike in the council tax of course)

    ;) skydog

  5. Anonymous8:31 AM

    .... And Hi-Viz jackets so that they don't get run over by the local constabulary hooligans.


  6. Stop being a pillock, Ken! I pretty much agree that it's daft (alright, downright stupid) that a property owner has a duty of care to trespassers. However, since that's the way the law goes, you have to accept that the council in this case is doing the right thing. If you don't like it, petition to have the law changed... don't criticise the council, who are (in this case) just doing their best to protect themselves from litigation.