Just topping and tailing this one - and I promise not to mention the subject for the next ... ohhh, six minutes? My pothole actually got filled the following day! Looks like properly too. Thus it is that this business of reporting local problems also seems like it's got legs. If you're interested in finding out more, you can find the official council website here for reporting all sorts of things from potholes to problem trees, manhole covers to missing street signs.
And time to begin adding to a useful links box at the bottom of this webpage I think.
In the meantime, I can't help feeling that conversational and local politics are condemned to walk side by side - whether, politically speaking, we approve of the trend or not. I have few compunctions these days as I blog globally at 21stCenturyFix.org and yet it takes me so much longer to happily post a locally focussed article at this place. Isn't it the case that those you keep at a distance - whether this distance be either side of a hallowed debating chamber or the right side of a computer screen - are easier to speak foul of, easier to criticise? With your neighbours, however, you have to live every day of the week. Surely this dynamic should encourage local politics to inevitably lead most decent sides of the political debate to reach some kind of agreement on polite and essentially productive discourse - on both its rules and its advantages as well as a wider requirement for its continuity.
I'm clearly naive (and perhaps, by now, am aiming to remain so till the end of my days) - but, even so, I can't help feeling we need to build on conversation more often than we do on polemic. The world really does require us to do this now. There is too much bad stuff going on for us to want to act alike. We need to build on face-to-face relationships which force us, oblige us, compel us to get on with each other rather than encourage at-an-arms-distance displays of energetically disagreeable gameplaying.
And that's why local politics, the really local stuff, should be our guide. When you have to live in the same street as your opposition, you can't afford yourself the luxury of stuffy and ugly pride. Now can you?