Of all the animals of prey, man is the only sociable one.
Every one of us preys upon his neighbour, and yet we herd together.
The Beggar's Opera: John Gay

Monday, 5 November 2012

It all depends which way you look at it....

A PROJECT aimed at slashing problems caused by late-night drinkers in Clacton town centre has been scrapped.
This is the unequivocally-named Clacton SOS Bus, which has been a feature of the town centre between 8.30pm and 2.30am on Friday and Saturday nights for the past ten months.

The bus, like its counterpart in Colchester, aims to provide medical and other emergency support to those who run into trouble in the town centre. The organisers' website describes their partnership with 'doctors and emergency care practitioners who can glue, stitch and assess individual cases'.

For those requiring less DIY and more TLC, the staff also liaise with local emergency and support services to help people avoid ending up in A&E, police custody or the pages of JuliaM's blog.

However, while the Colchester emergency staff have been kept busy helping 3,500 people over the past 3 years, the Clacton SOS Bus came to the end of its pilot run last week and will not continue because 'not enough people have used the service'.
Sarah Wright, chief executive of Open Road, said during the pilot only 156 people needed help.
Well, that's a good thing, surely...
“The pilot has been a useful exercise and we have learnt a lot about the needs of people frequenting Clacton on weekend evenings,” she said.
“However, the number of people taking advantage of the facility has been disappointing.
Well, I suppose if you are chief executive of an organisation with a £2.5m annual budget, receiving 'generous funding' for your operations from partners including Colchester Community Safety Partnership, Tendring Community Safety Partnership, Essex Police, North East Essex Primary Care Trust and Essex County Council, you probably don't see things quite the way the rest of us do.


  1. "....or the pages of JuliaM's blog.

    Now, THAT was funny!

  2. Revealing. So it wasn't as lucrative as they hoped.

  3. Rightwinggit, welcome; admittedly it's a long shot, with so many potential cases out there to choose from.

    AKH, revealing indeed. Open Reach is a charity which appears to be aimed at helping members of society whose long-term drug or alcohol addiction renders them 'vulnerable'.

    I'm not sure whether the best use of its (publicly-sourced) funds is to nanny those whose idea of a good time is to blow a week's wages on going out on a Friday night and getting as vulnerable as a newt.

  4. "...with so many potential cases out there to choose from."

    It seems I'll never run out of material. Sadly!