Friday, June 19, 2009

Throwing a Wheelie

Once again, one can count on the Thanet Gazette getting its facts wrong. It can become a little tedious after a while but I'll quote today's little gem:

"While thousands of Thanet people live with litter on their streets and fight a daily war with seagulls, all six Tory members of Thanet council's ruling group must be wheelie happy, they all have secure bins.

While there is no suggestion of impropriety, all of the council's cabinet which dictates spending plans for the authoritity live in road with wheelies..."

Well I'm sorry to disappoint you Editor, I don't and here's a photo of the Seagull that regularly has a go at my own bin bags attached with the Gazette's own special attention to accurate reporting.

I particularly liked the 'no suggestion of impropriety' touch, implying quite the opposite.

The real story here surrounds a growing shortage of public money and all our council budgets are presently under review. The Gazette simply doesn't grasp how serious the situation is in regard to the enormous public sector debt, run-up by this Government and the consequences as the financial tap is turned-off.

The Institute of Fiscal Studies said after the April Budget that, to fill the black hole in the public finances between now and 2018, reductions would be needed across every area of government the like of which we have not seen since the 1970s.

The bonanza that has seen a doubling of public spending since 'Chancellor Brown' allowed it to rip at the start of this decade' – adding well over half a million public-sector jobs – is over. The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development said yesterday that 350,000 state-funded jobs may have to be shed over the next five years and the pain will be felt everywhere and particularly in those places where the public sector is the largest local employer and contributor to the local income.

You can see the start of this around us now as councils increasingly 'triage' their vital services in order to keep them running. We all want clean streets, carefully-tended flowerbeds and much much more but consider for a moment that only a modest fraction of one's council tax goes towards supporting literally hundreds of vital services in the community with the balance made-up by central Government each year. Today, Government is bust in all but name and so councils need to be very careful indeed in spending the budgets they have available.

It comes back to what I said in my earlier post. Not perhaps what is good, but what is necessary!


Dorothy Merriman said...

If people put out their dustbins instead of just the bin liners the seagulls would be unable to access their 'takeaways'. We all used to do this, why have we stopped?

Anonymous said...

Well according to TDCs website you can have a wheelie bin Biggles.

Just visit

Then type in your road, according to records it is Westgate Bay Avenue, and it says you wheelie bin will be collected on Monday once a fortnight.

Maybe you should apply for one?

DrM. said...

I believe that illustrates the point; i.e. the wheelie bin distribution has stalled for reasons given by Mark Seed in the Gazette story today.

Westgate Bay Avenue is an extremely long road and while one might apply for a wheelie bin, - perhaps putting one's name down at birth? - I don't actually have one, contrary to the editor's statement in today's local paper!

Anonymous said...

Perhaps you should stop aiming your bile at the editor of the newspaper and rather aim it at the reporter who has obviously checked with TDC. That check showing that if you wanted a wheelie like the thousands that cannot have one, you could. Despite your lack of applying for a bin you *could* have one... that would be if you stopped paying cash out for pointless projects. You're a bitter man who seems to assume the Gazette has it in for you.

Anonymous said...

I notice the seagull is being held by that well-known and loved Thanet celebrity Mrs Numismatist of Scroat Road, Hampshire!

Anonymous said...

anon again!

You cannot blame the Government for this present 'crunchy' situation. It is caused by the totally inefficient greedy Banking Society. It would have happened even if the Conservatives, or the BNP were 'on the Throne'. I personally believe that Mr Brown (PM) is doing a very brave job in keeping things under 'relative control'.
It is no wonder that Local Councils have run out of funding after their expensive 'folly' in putting our money in to weak foreign Banks. They just don't want to admit their incompetency, and seek to blame others.
Great innit!

DrM. said...

Sorry Anon but your'e wrong on this one!

Yes local council were incompetent in placing deposits with Icelandic banks. No doubt about that and thank goodness Thanet had more sense.

However the public sector deficit is so large that it's like comparing a child's pocket money, the local councils, with the parents wages, Central Government. One can't run the house on the child's pocket money... which is the problem we now face!

DrM. said...

Saul from the Gazette phone me this morning to explain that he had looked on the council map of wheelie bin distribution and saw my street on it. That's fine but it doesn't mean that I have actually got one as previously stated.

I told him that I can't speak for Mark Seed at TDC or the appropriate Cabinet Member but on a personal note, when the Seagulls ravage our bin bags, my wife or I will go outside and clear up the mess. The problem we have is when households leave this to the council creating a disproportionate strain on limited street cleaning resources.

If the seagulls are a major nuisance its not beyond the bounds of human imagination to find new ways of protecting one's rubbish bags from their attentions until the bin men arrive.

Anonymous said...

Simon, around here the bin men come very early (certainly before 7 PM); so most people put their rubbish out late the previous evening before going to bed.

For those who don't have wheelie bins, why can't we be allowed to use good old fashioned dustbins instead? As well as preventing mess, they're also far more "green" than plastic bags.

Peter Checksfield said...

Anon 11:15 PM was me (sorry, I was tired & I forgot to sign in!).