The refracting lighthouse placed on top of the new Maritime and Coastguard Agency headquarters in the West Midlands has ‘totally failed to keep strangers away from Birmingham’, with more people than ever arriving broken and washed up in the city centre, having been caught in the strong, treacherous currents of the one-way system, it was claimed yesterday.
Local councillors have begun to question the business case for the lighthouse, and are complaining about the cost of clearing up stunned seagulls from the streets below it. ‘Who persuaded us we needed this thing to keep Londoners out?’ said an executive, speaking anonymously. ‘Our previous strategy – create the most horrible central train station in Europe – was working just fine’.
Covering the whole of the British Isles, the midlands coastguards have their own helicopter – but the lighthouse on the roof ruled out having a helipad on site. ‘Ok we have to get to Birmingham International Airport each time the chopper is scrambled’ said the director, ‘but our disaster response times are improving constantly. On the last call out, once we’d checked in our lifesaving equipment and Barry had gone back home for his photo-ID, we were on the scene just three hours. The government was right – wholesale restructuring in the name of efficiency savings really doesn’t affect public services at all’.