Thursday, 6 May 2010

Barnet Tories' three big ideas examined, Or: How big is your bin?

The Barnet Tories' manifesto is basically what they put in their recent full-page newspaper ad:
1. Barnet's first Council Tax freeze in the borough's 45-year history

2. Conservatives will never allow development on the Green Belt

3. Conservatives will continue to collect rubbish on a weekly basis

On 1, please see my post below.

On 2, please read what Roger Tichborne has written about Belmont Children's Farm and what David Miller has written about council leader Lynne Hillan's election material for Brunswick Park ward. Hillan says:
We have seen what overdevelopment has done in many areas of London. High-rise blocks of flats, over crowded estates and the demolishing of our family houses is not allowed in Brunswick Park.
Whereas, it's perfectly alright for wards such as Colindale.

On 3, this really doesn't sound like much to boast about. We have a weekly rubbish collection at the moment. Around the country, we hear, some councils have tried to bring in fortnightly collections and often backed down due to their unpopularity.

But this guarantee is not very reassuring to Barnet residents and voters. Much more to the point is what Barnet Tories' easyCouncil idea will mean for rubbish collection.

What we really want to hear from Barnet Tories is: what sort of rubbish collection service will we get for our council tax and what will we have to pay extra for?

You might not think there is any wiggle room here for the Tories, a weekly collection is a weekly collection, no? Yes, but how big is your bin? Seriously. Tories say they might offer discounts for people who only put out small amounts of rubbish. They might offer smaller bins for people interested in this. It would not be difficult for them, inverting the principle, to start charging people more for using the standard sized bin.

This would penalise the worse-off and people who, for reasons beyond their control, create more rubbish. I help to look after an ill, elderly woman and providing for her needs produces much more waste than the average.

Perhaps easyCouncil will actually end up being more like Starbucks, with bins coming in tall, grande and venti sizes, according to your taste and pocket.


Mrs Angry said...

Spot on: but have you ever wondered how much investment would be needed in actually implementing a scheme that is supposed to reflect variation in use of services? The whole idea is nonsensical and unworkeable,and I think Ms Hillans' dire performance in an interview where she was unable to explain how the easyCouncil idea would work says it all.

Citizen Barnet said...

We meet at last, Mrs Angry! I hope your neighbour problem is resolved for good.

I can imagine your sense of relief... and continued jumpiness.

Rather gloomy set of election results in Barnet, what?

Mrs Angry said...

I've been lying down in a darkened room since Thursday night, crying into my pillow ...