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We are thinking about moving back to the UK.
I'd like some opinions on what the advantages and disadvantages of living in Poland are as opposed to the UK or another Western European country?
Victor - the bin police in the UK are one good reason. Do they have bin police in Poland who fine you if you throw a banana skin or teabag in the wrong bin? It's the most ridiculous and petty piece of local government meddling I have ever seen.
On a positive note from a buyer's perspective, house prices are supposedly falling. But it's not a good time to buy yet.
Well I imagine the bin police are a local government thing aren't they? Unless things have changed though the uk has been notoriously bad at recycling, so maybe people need a kick up the arse.
For me the biggest disadvantage living in Poland right now is the rapidly increasing cost of living, without similar increases in wages.
"Well I imagine the bin police are a local government thing aren't they? Unless things have changed though the uk has been notoriously bad at recycling, so maybe people need a kick up the arse."
Its a local government thing based on councils being given recycling targets by central government and finding their own local solutions to reaching those targets. This means that in one borough you will have bin police sneaking in cameras and in another you can throw in what you like and nobody checks. I think if the councils don't reach the target there is a fine or something like that. The people getting caught up in this mess are often vulnerable (e.g. elderly, those with learning disabilities, etc). Also just encourages more dumping of rubbish. Where I am we are quite lucky in that we don't have council snooping into the bin (yet). But I think it is absolutely ludicrous and just another local government revenue generation scheme, just like residential parking (an extension of road tax).
The other thing some councils have done is reduce rubbish collections to once a fortnight. This supposedly leads to more recycling....nanny state & evil baron councils, ::grumble, grumble::
For me the biggest disadvantage living in Poland right now is the rapidly increasing cost of living, without similar increases in wages. ""
Exactly my thinking. That and the lack of a decent pension.
I was also looking into a move back to the UK and have heard nothing but negatives from the people I've spoken to. Last week alone 3 teenagers were murdered in the area near where my parents live - one a 15 year old girl set on fire but another 19 year old girl for supposedly kissing her boyfriend.
It now looks like I'm going to be staying put but working for a Dutch company. That at least might sort out the pension.
Location is everything. We'd aim to steer clear of London and the South East.
The problem is with employment by international companies is that Poland will be a short term investment for them. Costs are rising quickly here and many companies will move to cheaper locations. Romania, Turkey, etc.
2 million Poles can't be wrong!
That's one in every 20 Poles ...
If I only had a Polish income and Polish pension to rely on I certainly wouldn't live in Poland. As a vacation and retirement spot it's fine.
Not sure if you can rely on British pensions much either. The state pension is being eaten away to nothingness over time and a lot of final salary schemes are no longer worth much either, even if they don't get raided first.
I always think Poland will be a nice place to retire to.
On the whole London is probably a lot safer than a lot of UK cities. There may be more crime stats here overall, but it's very much concentrated in certain deprived parts and does not tend to stray to the nicer bits. I feel safer here than on a friday or saturday night in the town centre of what are considered to be nice towns.
>>I feel safer here than on a friday or saturday night in the town centre of what are considered to be nice towns.
Could that be because of the blanket CCTV coverage in London ?
"Could that be because of the blanket CCTV coverage in London "
Don't think that has anything to do with it as the sort of people who cause trouble are a) not aware of it, b) don't care if they are caught on camera and may even be proud of it. c) would be unrecognisable if caught on camera (e.g. hats/hoods etc).
I think it is more down to the cultures that have evolved over time in some towns. Maybe it's a cabin fever mentality. London is so big and anonymous, whereas in smaller towns you're far more likely to get the same people mixing and ensuing friction. In London there is a huge choice of places to go. Stick to nice areas and you will never have a problem.
Go somewhere quiet outside and London and you're bound to get intimidating groups of teens in hoodies hanging around outside the only takeaway in town. It's probably the boredom that causes trouble more than anything.
Yes, but, much the same type of no-hoper teens hang around every corner in Poland and probably every country in the world. At least every country I've ever visited.
Ania, isn't south London a gang and knife crime hotspot?
Depends on which part Hans. South west London is definitely very posh (Richmond/Twickenham/Putney etc). Parts of South east london are very deprived. But London is a very big place!
I lived in London for about 10 years, 4 or five of those in South London (Dulwich/Peckham/Balham areas). In that time I was only involved in one 'incident'. I've seen much more violence in my parents' rural market town. London is a very safe city - although if you are intimidated by other races and cultures it might not feel that way.
Burglaries on the other hand happen much too often.
"Burglaries on the other hand happen much too often."
Again depends on where you live. More likely in deprived areas as burglars often burgle in their neighbourhood. When I lived in Birmingham, burglary was rife.
I was on the verge of a move to Poland with my girl. We decided against it. Polish salaries are just to low compared to the cost of living. We've bought a flat there for holidays instead.
"although if you are intimidated by other races and cultures it might not feel that way."
Probably an accurate observation. I've felt this way every time I've been to London. But then there are very, very, few non-white faces in my home town.
Like it or not, a lot of the crime in London is committed by black and asian gangs, so there is good reason for this.
Gang violence is another thing altogether as usually it is directed towards rival gangs. So if you are not involved you generally don't get affected (unless like the Polish girl shot in south london last year, you happen to be passing).
London seems intimidating if you come from outside (I lived outside for several years and I know what it feels like to come back), but there is actually very little real tension between people or groups of people. There is very much a live and let live atmosphere. (I don't know if that's the same in East and south East London as that is unchartered territory for me.)