Monday, 13 December 2010

Shit. My Wheelie Bin's Gone.

You know what's most embarrassing about writing this? It's essentially a campaigning blogpost on an issue that the Lib Dems picked up on over 18 months ago. Look out for me proposing increased tuition fees sometime mid 2012*...

It's also largely motivated by self interest but I'm not at all embarrassed by that. After all, what's writing a blog for apart from pushing your own selfish agenda at the expense of all others?

Anyway, as you can see, I've had my wheelie bin stolen. Not the first time it happened either, nor for that matter is it the first act of what I have to refer to as 'anti-social behaviour' (dread phrase) I've been subjected to.

The problem is you get charged for replacements now you see and I can't find an authoritative statement of what the charges are. After some squirrelling around I found that it was introduced in the 2009 council budget (see page 72 of this document) and you get the first one for free but I still can't find out how much the charge is or if there are any concessions.

However, what I did notice was that the measure was/is only expected to raise about £8,000 a year which wouldn't keep the thriftiest of chickens in light snacks for any length of time so it looks a bit mean spirited, in a kind of 'because we can' kind of way. That seems to be the only justification for it by the way, well, that and 'everyone else is doing it'. Policy via the school playground in other words.

But then I remembered another issue which was also 'debated' at the same full council meeting, special allowances for Executive Assistants. I wrote about it at the time, when I was still a bit new at this blogging game. You see the Independent Remuneration Committee recommended that special allowances for EAs should be £2710 pa, whereas JoCo decided that they should get £5579 and as you know, what JoCo decides, NCC votes for. With three EAs (it used to four but Hassan Ahmed was promoted to full portfolio status) that costs an extra £8607 per year. About the same amount as those bloody wheelie bin charges are expected to fetch in other words.

So, when I'm sent a bill for my shiny new wheelie bin I shall reflect on the fact that I am helping to keep former 'high class' (self defined) escort and serial email ignorer Cat Arnold off the streets and stocked up with biros. And never sleep again cos I'll guard the bugger with my life.

Update - been told that as I'm on Income Support there will be no charge so you can stop feeling sorry for me now. Still thinking of setting up a network of machine gun nests around it when it arrives though.

*Should note here that actually local Lib Dems are still against increasing tuition fees, in case the guilt tips one of them over the edge.


Anonymous said...

It would be worth looking into whether NCC can legally charge for a replacement bin - if you have the time. I know they used to charge student households for a second bin which was illegal. Legally councils can't charge for removal of domestic waste, which they were charging student households with a second bin for. But I don't know the situationa bout charging for a bin itself - sorry I don't have the time at the moment to look into it.

Andy said...

I did have a half hearted look a while back but didn't draw a firm conclusion. And not so urgent now as I don't have to pay cos I'm on benefits but my interest is awakened and I will have another look into it when I've got the energy.