Zak Spade's

When is a trial not a trial?

Local newspaper, May 2020
Phil Wilkinson ("Trial")

o - O - o

When is a trial not a trial?

When it is conducted by Central Bedfordshire Council, it seems.

What do I mean? Well, it is all about the ‘block paving’ in the High Street outside Wilko (no relation), installed in August 2019. It appears not to have fared well. However, in response to criticism from various quarters in Leighton Buzzard, CBC said, “This trial will be reviewed in August 2020,” and so if it hasn’t delivered on the promises made for appearance and durability by that time, because it can’t, then things will be sorted – one would suppose.

Ah, but I forgot to include the bit that followed, “...and if it’s considered necessary, we will bring the specialist back in to discuss further options.”

Er, so if the ‘solution’ suffered for a year by August 2020 is as woefully inadequate as many of the townsfolk maintain, then instead of ripping it out and replacing it with something that does work, the original specialist installer will be tasked with either replacing it with the same, or replacing it with the same.

Sorry, did I understand that correctly? Wouldn’t dropping the ‘specialist’ and obtaining an alternative and working solution be better?

If a builder sells a solution to a householder that fails to deliver on promises, does the householder say, “No, it didn’t work,” and ask them to perform the same job with the same materials and skills as before, or do they move onto someone else who can provide a product and solution known to work?

Of course, if said specialist builder or contractor is your wife’s cousin, or a best mate, or a blood relative, then it isn’t quite so easy. The same might be true if a householder has foolishly signed a contract with the builder/contractor/specialist that results in them being locked into letting them reinstall and reinstall, rather than being allowed to get rid of them on the basis that their product or solution just doesn’t work. The same might apply if someone entered into agreements based on nods and winks between people who ‘have an understanding.’

CBC said, “...the street printing option is currently being trialled,” but I cannot understand how a trial is a permanent commitment. I always thought a trial meant that the eventual outcome was to be determined, and stating that they, “...will bring the specialist back in to discuss further options,” seems to suggest that someone at CBC uses a different dictionary than me.

© 2020

10 March 2023