Posted tagged ‘£250 million’

Waste War-Chest

October 3, 2011

I really really want to to like you and yet every time....

In case anyone missed it Mr Pickles has established a £250 million fund which he will use to assist local authorities to reinstate weekly bin collections. Mr Pickles apparently ‘raided every biscuit tin’ in the DCLG to find the money for his number 1 priority and stated that having your bin collected weekly is a ‘basic right’.

The reasons that Mr Pickles is wrong are almost too many to mention but as a quick top seven, in no particular order, here goes:

  1. Having your bin collected every week is not a basic right, genuinely.
  2. Having your bin collected every week is a high priority in a lot of areas but is not in others.
  3. A true localist would let the local community, and their council, decide whether or not to have a weekly collection
  4. Many councils are contemplating severe cuts to many other services (such as social care). Surely, if there was a biscuit tin to raid he could have found something better to spend it on.
  5. Weekly bin collections usually lead to less recycling and more landfill which is both bad for the environment and expensive (due to the landfill tax). Councils are likely to be placed in a very awkward position but this policy.
  6. Some councils still have a weekly bin collection and are probably the councils who most need a weekly collection and yet they are the least likely to be eligible for the money. Those that don’t ‘need’ such a collection will get money to reinstate it.
  7. The pot will only be available for a council who ‘bids’ for the money. I spy a very bureaucratic procedure with scoring criteria and lots of forms; surely this is in very real contrast to what the Government stands for?

So, if the announcement and the allocation of a quarter of a billion pounds was so obviously wrongheaded we need to ask; why exactly did he do it?

I have a theory. It’s not much of a theory but here goes. Eric Pickles genuinely believed that what he was doing was a) the right thing to do and b) that it would be popular. Let me explain: