|"You Must be Having a Laugh"|
Readers may be pleased to know that I raised many of the issues that concern them and I'm now reasonably confident with the answers and the process of the service roll-out, which starts in November. I will be asking Mark to take a much closer look at the published calendar of collections, to address what appear to be reported inconsistencies causing a worry to some.
The new service has already been trialed successfully in pilot areas of Thanet and is a fact of life in areas such as Medway. None of us like multiple bins cluttering our streets and driveways but I think that all of us understand that recycling is now a way of life and that landfills that fail to separate the reusable from the redundant are not the way of the future.
The new collection service is something we can't avoid and so the great majority of households, mine included, will have to learn to live with it. That said, there are a couple of important points that may reassure those households that simply don't have the space or which exist in areas which are quite unsuitable for the new regime. Parts of Margate and Cliftonville which have been in 'special measures' for rubbish collection, since I was in the Cabinet, are a good example.
If an area, a block of flats or a street is deemed unsuitable, then I'm told, the rubbish collection and bin regime, will simply remain as it is today. If you believe that this is true of your property or that perhaps elderly or vulnerable residents may be unable to deal with the blue, the black, the red bag and the food bin collection cycle, then call the Council (01843 577727) or alert one of your local Councillors.
As an example, the area of Station Road in Westgate, was raised as an example as the flats are above the shops and I also drew attention to potential 'issues' in Adrian and Ethelbert Squares, as well as many of the retirement blocks close to the seafront.
For most of us though, there isn't an option and we need to remember to put out our waste food and place high value card into the red bag for collection. Otherwise everything else remains the same.
There is a video which explains all of this cleverly hidden on the Council website. I did ask them to send me the link but nothing has appeared. No surprises there, so until they do, here's the official Clive Hart version and I will continue to look for the real instructions video and embed it further below, so you can see it
Finally, I had my water meter installed, like many other households this week. There is a suspicion that Southern Water may have used the opportunity to lift the tariff and I see my Labour colleague, Cllr Iris Johnston, is already on the case, seeking clarification. If it proves true then I would regard this as quite unacceptable in a difficult time for everyone with utility bills. If I hear more I will share it here or on Twitter. (@simonmoores)