‘Now to the broken bulbs in our streetlights. Since my conversation with the mayor, he has agreed to fix them. It took a lot of persuading, but he saw our viewpoint about crime and insurance premiums doubling.’
‘Well done Thomas, how did you manage that?’ Mrs Stoddart said.
‘I wrote a letter to the good councillor, and he agreed to see me in an informal meeting on the golf course. It was then I expressed my worry over the increased crime rate and burglaries in our area.’
Mrs Carmichael’s head flew back. She clapped like she had just watched an award-winning film. Martha was pleased for Thomas. She didn’t want to mention it was her letter that had persuaded the councillor to meet him in the first place.
‘Now that has been sorted, I propose we do something about the youths hanging around the park late at night. We all know that Fred got mugged a year ago, Martha too, and with our help the evening bus service got reinstated.’
‘I can go and visit my friend without worrying about going anywhere near the park now. I thank you for it,’ Fred said, and doffed his cap.
Thomas cleared his throat. ‘It’s not good enough for the bus service to be reinstated, if we cannot use our local park, without fear of finding drug paraphernalia. My next aim is to have the park fitted with CCTV, so that children will have a safe area to play.’
‘Such a good idea!’ Mrs Stoddart rose out of her chair, as if she were going to start a Mexican wave.
‘If anyone can do it, you can Thomas,’ Charles said.
With each remark Martha’s chest rose and fell.
‘Now, now – it’s only in the early stages. We might not be successful. It took months of . . . it took months for the council to agree on the lights being repaired and it was only because of our joint efforts that we were able to progress.’
‘You could speak to councillor Evans again; he has a young daughter,’ Martha whispered to herself.
‘Great idea, Mrs W. What do you think Thomas?’
‘Yes, I’ll get on to that tomorrow.’
‘You are on such good terms with him too, aren’t you darling? I know he was impressed with your efforts in bringing the evening bus service back. If it weren’t for you, we would be scared to go outside for fear of being attacked,’ Martha said.