Black watch.(Last Shout)

Once upon a time BlackWatch was a local councillor. He served for 25 years, with no remission for good conduct. No financial reward either in contrast to the present salaries approach. Expenses only despite a spell chairing the Personnel Committee responsible for 10,500 staff.

But what you lacked in lucre, you gained in experience. One lesson was to regard any group's so-called 'consultation exercises' with deep reservation. Hence when the Local Government Association last month produced a poll on public reaction to fires in schools, a whiff of doubt waffled down Memory Lane.

Not surprising was an under-estimate of the extent of arson activity. With one in 15 schools requiring firefighter attention annually the problem is greater than many anticipate. …

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