It has been a while since I have awarded my prestigious and internationally famous "Prats of The Week" Award, as such I am making another award today but in a special "Uber Prat" category "C**TS of The Week".
Well deserving of this award are those in Newark and Sherwood District Council who seek to prosecute children who play football in the street in Newark.
The Gestapo in the local council have sent letters warning that children face prosecution, and fines of up to £100, if they annoy neighbours with ball games.
The purge against street football (surely street football is far less harmful than street drug dealing, street mugging or street loitering?) is being led by Lynn Pallett the Orwellian named anti-social behaviour co-ordinator.
Whilst I can see that residents who have complained about flowerbeds being trampled by children retrieving balls have reason to be peeved, is it really the right way to go about this to threaten children with prosecution?
Do we really hate children so much in this country that we can't let them act like children once in a while?
Surely it is better that the kids play football than deal drugs, drink or loiter with menaces?
Pauline Heath 73, a mother of ten grown-up children, has a rather sensible view:
"I have 20-odd grandchildren and as long as they don't cause a nuisance, there is no problem with letting them play in the street.
Children should be allowed to be children. I've had lads kick the ball in my front garden. I just go out and tell them that if it happens again I'm happy for them to retrieve it, as long as they close my gate afterwards. I've never had any problems."
Miss Pallett said that under section 161 of the Highways Act 1980, if a person plays football or any other game on a highway, to the annoyance of a user of the highway, he or she is guilty of an offence and liable to a fine of up to £100.
The police are ready and waiting. A spokesman for Nottinghamshire Police said the force plans to warn offenders in the first instance.
"If they failed to move on or persisted to cause a problem, we would then consider arrests."
Are they as proactive about arresting drug dealers and others who cause problems on the streets?
Newark and Sherwood District Council well deserving C**TS of The Week.
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