Home Gloucester What would you do with £250m? Why take the rubbish out of course….

What would you do with £250m? Why take the rubbish out of course….

by Barry
Eric Pickles, British politician and Chairman ...

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In this time of austerity, and the Conservative lead Government telling us we are “all in this together” and that there is no money for fundamental pillars of society such as the Justice System, the NHS, Schools and community based projects, it seems that Eric Pickles is sick of having to wait for his rubbish to be collected and has “magically found” £250m to “encourage” councils to return to weekly (Black bin) rubbish collections.

This smacks in the face of the hard work being done by local authorities to encourage people to recycle more and to reduce the waste going to landfill.  Many people have had a tough transition in getting used to fortnightly rubbish collections but have changed their lives accordingly and I think many people have done it very successfully.  So this would be very much a backward step for the local councils and for the environment.

So what else, what could you do with £250m? Here is a short list off the top of my head:

  • Continue Sure Start and the Maternity Grant
  • Not cutting our defence forces so deep
  • Not cutting essential social services
  • Not cutting the Legal aid budget so deep
  • More grants for Community Projects
  • More funding for Adult care
  • Funding for Youth Provisions
  • Better provision for Libraries

And at a more local level:

  • Restoration of the Green Bin Service in Gloucester
  • A new railway Station for Quedgeley

How does this affect the plans for the incinerator at Javelin Park, this will make the amount of rubbish go up and therefore makes the planning assumptions a shaky basis for decision making.  The ramifications could be quite long reaching for our local councils!

Will £250m be enough to sustain the service for the full contract period that each council has with its contractor?  I would put good money it won’t as many contracts are for 5 years, therefore this £250m is really £50m a year for the entire country!

Eric Pickles calls this weekly collection a “Basic Right”, but what of a basic right for good access to justice, a basic right for access to the Health System.  I think he should stop looking at his priorities, but the priorities of the population.

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Joe K October 1, 2011 - 6:52 am

Bear in mind that that £250 million is intended to spread across who knows how many councils, though. It would probably cost close to that sum to build a station at Quedgeley (the Gloucester Parkway was going north of £50 mil when it was scrapped, and would probably have cost another hundred before it was finished). That wouldn’t be justifiable for one area, or even one city.

The people who still say fortnightly collections don’t work are idiots (or lazy), though. They should look at what they’re putting into their black bins and ask themselves what actually needs to be there. Not cardboard, bottles, (plastic or glass). Not tins. Obviously not paper. Not food waste. Offhand, I can only think of styrofoam packaging as bulky waste.

It would really would be an education (albeit a smelly one, I dare say) to see just what makes up most of those half dozen or more black bags one see outside some houses. As I said, some people are stupid or lazy, and it shouldn’t be encouraged.

James October 24, 2011 - 11:27 pm

To the best of my knowledge, the right to have a fortnightly bin collection does not feature in the 1688 Bill of Rights aka the Magna Carta. Fast forward 310 years to 1998…and surprisingly it doesn’t feature in the Human Rights Act 1998 either. Describing it as a ‘tradition’ or ‘custom’ may have been slightly more accurate though it is not in keeping with Britain’s aspiration to be a zero waste economy (which I’m hoping will unlock some desperately needed economic growth).


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