Dear Marjorie & Claire,
Hello, I do hope that you can help; my neighbours and I live in a very nice cul- de-sac (Britannia Way) of four detached houses. For many years now we have enjoyed a special relationship built on shared values and common interest.
During the time we have lived here there has grown up a very large estate on a brown field site to the rear of our land. The people living on this estate are very different to us and although we have tried to engage with them we have had little success. All that has happened is we are now less well off, the value of our homes is fast diminishing and the demands of our newer neighbours to share in our once rural idyll has become more and more vociferous. Recently there has been an influx of people from further afield. At least with those already living on the estate we shared some commonality but this latest group of people are in no way similar to ourselves.
They all seem to believe that work is not a requirement, that women are second class citizens, that our children are their playthings and we owe them a living.
When the estate was first built there were lots of good ideas mooted and many of them were put into practise, there was a mutual benefit society, joint purchasing of power etc. and a range of social clubs and societies for us to join. I will admit that all the residents of Britannia Way took some advantage of these facilities but over time it became evident that, as we were seen as more “well to do” than most of the other residents we were continually asked to both give and do far more than our newer neighbours.
I should have said earlier that my name is Smith and we were the first family to move into Britannia Way, we do have the nicest plot and the largest house but we have always treated the other residents as equals, in fact, some might say, we have treated them as more than equals at times.
Anyway Marjorie, to get to the crux of the problem, we decided to have a vote amongst ourselves as to whether we cut off all ties with the estate and look further afield for clubs and societies to join. All our children are quite grown up, although all still live at home. We decided that each resident (19 in total) would get one vote and that a simple majority would carry the day.
The vote was carried out and when counted the result was;
11 voted to cut off ties, 7 voted to continue to try and influence the estate from within and one paper was spoiled.
All well and good you might say, but now we have a problem, although the vote was meant to be a secret ballot an acrimonious meeting followed the result. At the meeting it came out that 4 Smiths, 2 Joneses, 3 Doyle’s and 2 Haddocks had voted for the motion. Gareth and Bronwyn were happy to go along with the majority, but with one or two reservations, as were Paddy and Margaret. The problem was with Alec and Nicola Haddock, even though they had agreed to abide by a majority outcome they were now saying that, as their daughter was engaged to Ali (a newly arrived estate dweller) and their family had voted 3 to 2 against they should be treated as a special case. They even went so far as to say that the vote should either be re-run or even overturned.
Herein lies the dilemma, to make sure that we are as cut off as possible from the negative elements of the estate we have decided to erect a wall around Britannia Way, we would like your advice on which of the following steps we should take, given that the Haddock family are now digging their heels in and asking that their address be changed from 4 Britannia Way to number 113 Backofthequeue Road, Sink Estate 1, EU Outpost 27, Somewhere in the North Sea;
Option 1; Build the wall around our homes, tell the Haddocks to stop whinging, be grateful for what they have and get over themselves.
Option 2; Build the wall around numbers 1, 2 & 3 and wish the Haddocks the best of luck, they’re going to need it.
Option 3; (The Haddocks preferred option) don’t build the wall at all, take down the Britannia Way signs, change all our addresses to Backofthequeue Road and allow our neighbours to build a small shanty town in our well kept and sizable back gardens.
Yours in anticipation
William and Sylvia Smith