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Bonkers Blog January 2015

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16 January (Part 1) - Probably we’ve bin had

Brown binThe few people in the borough who care about what Bexley council does will know by now that the recycling services are to be degraded later this year.

The collection of garden waste will cease unless householders agree to a charge. More details are gradually becoming available.

The existing brown bins will be universally withdrawn and replaced with a small receptacle for food waste. A new brown bin for garden waste will be issued to those who can afford to pay. It will be a 240 litre bin instead of the existing 140 litres - which sounds like an improvement - but nothing in Bexley actually gets better. The collection frequency will be halved; the council is planning a reduced service at an infinitely increased cost to householders.

As an old Tory myself I can see that this is not entirely bad when a £50 million black hole has to be filled. Why should those with a cultivated garden have to be subsidised by those who prefer a large patio? Is a charge not fair? However such logic leads back to the Community Charge, otherwise known as the Poll Tax. Maybe that was a good idea too.

SavingsPedants will notice that no reference is made to the recently closed consultation and the council debate set for March. That’s because no major proposal will be changed. How could it be when the Director of Finance is drawing up plans for the Council Tax rate right now?

The recycling service will be degraded whatever the consultation reveals.

If, as a council informer told me, the new system is to start early in the new financial year some serious logistics must be going on now. On the other hand I may be being sold a pup. No one in Watling Street should be trusted.

Caddy Replacing all the 140 litre brown bins with little ones for food waste and providing larger ones on request is not a matter of clicking the Buy button at Amazon. If Bexley council places an order with a manufacturer before the council rubber stamps the proposal, a sham consultation will be confirmed

Presumably the relatively small saving anticipated for 2015/16 is to account for the cost of the bins. A 240 litre bin costs nearly £40 retail.

A major factor in Bexley council being high up in the Recycling League Tables has been its free garden waste service. All that extra weight of material getting 100% recycling distorts the figures wonderfully. The projected charge should see that arithmetical quirk come to an end when shrubs and weeds are burned or dumped by the roadside.


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