THREE years is too long to wait for railings in Barrow to be fixed by the county council.

Quite why it has taken this amount of time has not been fully explained.

Phil Simpson, the boss of the Duke of Edinburgh, is quite within his rights to say it is not good enough.

In the grand scheme of things, a mangled set of rusty railings might be dismissed as a triviality.

But first impressions are important. The railings sit at a major arrival point for visitors and on a very visible crossroads passed by thousands of motorists every day.

Street furniture wrecked by crime doesn’t do Barrow, or public perceptions of it, any favours at all.

Businesses pay their rates and householders pay their council tax for jobs like this to be done quickly.

We all want a town to be proud of. There is little doubt that councils have more work to do, fewer staff and less funding than they once had.

The real problem here, of course, is the perpetrator responsible.

Hitting them where it hurts – the pocket - would give reason to think.

Instead, the cost is another burden foisted onto law-abiding tax-payers and over-stretched councils. As long as people get away with this type of behaviour at no personal cost to themselves, there’s every reason to assume they will continue to do so.