Prime Minister David Cameron has hailed the success of his Big Society programme, citing the example of South Oxhley Community Choir, which has been appointed to provide local meals on wheels services for the elderly.
Mr Cameron says: “The Big Society is about giving control of public services back to community groups and charities. What these local groups lack in experience, funding and competence they more than make up for through abstract concepts such as pluck, grit and good old-fashioned British spunk.”
Robert Fette, the Musical Director of the Choir says, “We were actually bidding to run an after-schools music project for 8-16 year olds. But beggars can’t be choosers, so we’re going to combine our challenging programme of Tippet, Purcell and Britten with the delivery of hot dinners to the elderly and infirm.
“Our busy rehearsal schedule means that the only dish we can provide on a daily basis is bangers and mash, but combined with a vibrant and ever-changing accompaniment of pop, gospel, classical and world music that is certain to brighten up meal times.”
Elsewhere in the district, South Oxhley Cat Rescue has pipped Tesco to the post and won control of local policing.
Ms Moira Finnegan, who heads up South Oxhley Cat Rescue, says: “This is very exciting. We intend to get officers to focus on making South Oxhley safer for everyone, but of course especially for cats. Some of whom get a terrible time of it. We are planning to apply to the Big Society Bank for funding so that local police officers will be able to get new uniforms, including ties with pictures of kittens on.”
However, it is not all good news for Mr Cameron.
Kelly Willis, a 23 year old volunteer at a local South Oxhley park, admits she was stunned to find herself completely in charge of the 25 acre site.
“A man came round in a council van,” says Miss Willis, “threw a pair of gardener’s gloves at me and said, right you are love, it’s yours. Then he sped off. I’ve appealed for volunteers, but now I need some other volunteers to look after the existing volunteers.”
Three Rivers District Council, which previously controlled public services in the area, is planning to lay off its existing social care staff and reopen as a Nandos.