Saturday, 26 October 2019

Living in a wild west economy

Imagine living in a lawless town where anything, short of murder or larceny, goes ignored by statutory authorities. Welcome to the west coast of Scotland.

In the first post published here on this blog I mentioned a friend who was turned down for bar work as he was neither female nor aged under thirty. What I didn't mention is that he lives in the same coastal village that I do.

Largs sits on the western edge of a local authority that's regularly to be found near the top of Scotland's index of child poverty. Yet North Ayrshire hosts absolutely no Citizens Advice office anywhere at all within its wide boundaries.

This is a place where fully grown adults compete for jobs lurking well beneath even the "gig economy". Such cash-in-hand opportunities pay far less than minimum wage and neither tax nor National Insurance are an issue.

But of course there's no shortage of takers. The job market is poor here, as in impoverished towns nearby and similarly across Great Britain's other beaten-down communities.

Largs also allows motorists to park their vehicles unhindered on double yellow lines, even right outside the town's part-time police station! I've personally witnessed several near collisions on the corners of streets and road junctions, all due to illegal parking, when merely strolling out to the shops.

Maybe our local bobbies believe traffic enforcement is a luxury that locals can't afford?


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