A few days ago I described as a ‘shambles’ the introduction of the new part-night street lighting arrangements in Warwick District. Now, after yet more policy changes announced ‘on the hoof’, the situation undoubtedly deserves the full title of ‘omnishambles‘ (as in ‘The Thick of It).
Why? Well, the Oxford Dictionary’s definition of their “word of the year 2012′ is “a situation that has been comprehensively mismanaged, characterized by a string of blunders and miscalculations.” This describes the current situation pretty well I think!
In the latest twist to the story today, Warwickshire County Council has told some journalists (but not the rest of the press yet, nor elected councillors!) that the policy is changing again from this weekend. The switch-off will now be from midnight to 5.30 am for 5 nights of the week, and 1.00 am to 6.30 am on Friday and Saturday nights. This arrangement will continue until the clocks go forward in March, when they will think again.
Irrespective of whether or not you think the latest timings make sense, they can’t go on like this! This is the fourth version of the policy in five weeks since it was launched. The Conservative Cabinet member responsible calls it “listening to the public’s concerns”, but doesn’t that remind you of George Osborne when he kept changing last year’s budget decisions? That was dubbed an omnishambles by the media as well!