Thursday, August 14, 2008

More Rubbish From The Council

Regular contributor Samantha writes:

Following the recent dreadful state of the roads behind Victoria Parade in Ramsgate after the rubbish has been collected I wrote to Thanet Council to complain. Here is their response:

'Your comment concerning spilt waste is common at this time of year. Due to the actions of local seagulls it is a prevalent problem, it is one of the main reasons that we are gradually introducing wheeled bins into the district. It is appreciated that a number of properties will be unsuitable for wheeled bins, at the current time those properties will continue with the sack/dustbin weekly collection service.

As the number of wheeled bins increases this enables us to reduce sweeping in those areas and concentrate on areas where we either have a sack collection system or other litter issues i.e. other areas with heavy footfall like town centres.

In the interim period it is clearly the householders responsibility to securely contain waste prior to collection. I appreciate that may be difficult, however that does not change the legal obligation. In addition to using sacks you may also place the sacks in a dustbin for secure containment, alternately some residents have advised me that placing a sheet over the bags offers an effective deterrent.

Our refuse crews are required to collect suitably contained waste, they do not have the time to act as street cleaners, if they did so a number of other households would not receive a waste collection on the right day. For this reason we try to program sweeping as close to refuse day as possible. This is not always achieved due to staff holidays, an obvious problem at this time of year, or sickness, however our cleansing teams will consider how to improve this aspect in your area.'

Hmm. So let's translate that from the Uranian, shall we?

1. You're one of a long line of whingers.
2. Don't blame us blame the seagulls.
3. We're introducing wheelie bins which will sort the problem, but don't count on getting one before the next ice age.
4. You probably won't get wheelie bins where you are anyway.
5. When enough wheelie bins have been rolled out in other areas your street cleaner will probably be redeployed to help our cafe culture pals who are far too important/lazy/cheapskate to clear up their own mess.
6. We just said it was the seagulls' fault but actually it's yours. However, we won't bother enforcing any of these 'legal obligations' on inconsiderate householders who dump their bin bags on the pavement all week.
7. Staff holidays are an obvious problem at this time of year, so obvious in fact that we haven't bothered to make any alternative arrangements. So it's no wonder the place looks like a shithole at a time when many people will be, er, taking their holidays in the area.
8. Er, that's it.

Kuh! And to think people actually get paid to manage this mess!


tony flaig bignews said...

Just a quick one is that the same picture that you always use or is this one farm fresh.

I think we should be told.

Anonymous said...

11-01...does it matter when the photo was's allways left as a shithole.

Eastcliff Richard said...

Tony, I have an entire album full of photos like that one. However, I haven't as yet trotted down to the Costcutter for my copy of Gra*ia so for the sake of convenience I've repeated last week's. If I get any more good 'uns, you'll be the first pedant to know!

Blimey, anyone would think this was as big a case of faking it as the BBC, ITV, C4 et al!

Cllr David Green said...

Hi Richard

You've got the same response that I get when I repeatedly raise the issue.
As I see it, there are at least two issues. The first is dealing with those people that put bags out at the wrong time or day.
The second is the split bag situation.
I think the suggestion that wheelie bins elsewhere will free up staff to deal with town centre streets will not wash. Reference the Council's finance problems.
My suggestion is one that is used elsewhere, which is to place pairs of large bins at strategic points along the affected roads.
Residents that needed to (say after a weekend stay) would have somewhere to put rubbish, and the rubbish would be contained.
The Council would have to adapt a couple of freighters and we would lose a few parking places.
I wondered what you and your readers thoght?

samantha said...

That would certainly be my preference Cllr Green.

Anonymous said...

It wasn't so bad today so has the council actually done something following Samantha's complaint?
You can bet it will short term, we need a long term solution for this dreadful problem.

Peter Checksfield said...

If it's true that TDC have done something today because of complaints, then it's very likely it's because of this blog. I'm starting to realise now that blogs like these have far more influence locally than individual complaints.

Eastcliff Richard said...

We've been discussing the need for large, communal, continental style street bins for the last three years DG. But by all means please continue trying to persuade the duffers in Margate that it's the only solution.

If only I had the influence you imply I have, Peter C!

The Great Daktari said...

i'm afraid Richard is right. the refuse situation here on the Eastcliff is not good.

And I can honestly say, it doesn't bother me if he uses the same photo. If he took another it would be very similar. It's just awful round here!