Friday, 30 September 2011

A rubbish suggestion - £250 million for your vote?

Yesterday it was announced that £250 million has been released to enable councils to reintroduce weekly bin collections.

When bin collections were reduced to fortnightly in many areas this sparked outrage and reports of increased numbers of rats etc in areas where rubbish was left out for extended periods of time.  But the motivation for doing this was to increase recycling, and as time has gone on people have no doubt become used to the fact that their rubbish will only be collected fortnightly.

Ordinarily I have no doubt that this move would be welcomed.  However, in a time when essential services to the vulnerable  as well as education budgets are being cut, I can't help wondering whether this is badly timed, and whether this has more to do with winning votes and popularity rather than the need to re-introduce an essential service.

If there is £250 million to bring back weekly collections, what has been cut to fund it? 

In the scheme of things, £250 million across all councils isn't actually that much money.  But in a time where services, some of them essential, are being cut, surely we have to ask why something as trivial as bin collections is being given priority and funding over services as essential as transport for disabled children.
One might be forgiven for cynically suggesting that bin collections affect us all and are therefore more likely to gain more popularity, whereas many of the services being cut are services that the majority of us will never have a need to use, and therefore have no impact on us.

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