photo credit: markhillary
Isn’t it reassuring that David Cameron’s British Bill of Human Rights would include (if E.Pickles has his way) the basic human right to have weekly bin collections?
Three cheers,copies of the Daily Mail and heads in the sand all round!
Eric Pickles has found £250 million at the back of his sofa which he is giving to councils to restore “weekly bin collections”.
LibDemVoice has an excellent debate on the pros and cons of this here. And The Periscope Post does an excellent job in summarising the arguments around this.
Eric Pickles has said, by the way:
It’s a basic right for every English man and woman to be able to put the remnants of their chicken tikka masala in their bin without having to wait a fortnight for it to be collected.
I will now need psychotherapy to remove the mental image of Eric Pickles in his shirt and braces, scraping the disgusting remains of his chicken tikka masala into his bin.
Chicken Tikka Masala is the nation’s favourite meal. Why would people, therefore, want to throw it away?
Pickles does not seem to understand his role. Surely being Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government means that you allow local government to govern locally doesn’t it?
OK, there is an argument to say that local people want “weekly bin collections” (notwithstanding the fact that often weekly food waste collections are part of alternate week wheely/green bin collection systems) but surely that should be left to local councils to decide, should it not? If they get it wrong they will be unelected. That’s why we have an expensive electoral system. It’s called democracy.
It really shouldn’t be Eric Pickles’ job to second guess local councils by using scarce money during one of the toughest spending environments in British history.
Yes, I admit that there is likely to be animosity against Eric Pickles which is adding vim to my view here. I am sure he is a nice man, but he comes across as a sanctimonious oaf. That said, I tend to go along with Chris White on LibDemVoice, who ends his article thus:
Yes: there are downsides to fortnightly collections. But to blow a quarter of a billion pounds on what is to most people a minor irritant is, in the middle of the harshest government settlement anyone can remember, the height of irresponsibility.
Worse still: it will send a clear message to many householders that recycling is not so important and that the chuck away society wasn’t really a problem after all.
I also recommend an excellent article by Gareth Epps which includes this superb passage:
Bribing councils to increase their carbon footprint is bonkers and potentially a breach of the Coalition Agreement; localist it certainly isn’t. Decisions on waste collection are up to councils, who are certainly held to account for them, as results in Reading over time have proved.