'I was lucky to be invited to one of the focus groups for waste collection. There was a lot of coercion to get everyone to agree to accept the idea of 'recycle police' and extra 'PAY TO DUMP' charges. Over paid council NON-jobs should be dumped. Damn the EU.' -- Dean Mansfield, Aldershot resident
For the last six months, several thousand households in the Rotten Borough of Rushmoor have had their lives made a misery as guinea pigs in a forced experiment to see if they wanted fortnightly refuse collection. It would have been a lot easier to have simply asked them, but that was beyond the wit of the brain-dead councillors and their dishonest officials who pushed for the 6-month trial.
The six-moth trial has proved to be an unmitigated disaster: overflowing wheelie bins, maggot infected bins, smells, rubbish strewn streets, fly tipping, back garden burning of rubbish, long queues to the local tip generating traffic congestion, air pollution etc etc.
The council chief executive Andrew Lloyd has been repeatedly asked to stop the experiment, but lacks the courtesy to even reply to correspondence on the subject.
A Freedom of Information request to the council has revealed that no risk assessment took place of either the risk to public health and the environment or the risk to the bin men.
The pathetic excuse for not carrying out a risk assessment on the bin men, was that the council officials in their ignorance believed there was no risk thus no need for a risk assessment, and in any case the refuse collection service was contracted out, therefore someone else's problem not theirs!
Clearly they are not aware that refuse begins to decay after a week, producing dangerous bioaerosols laden with pathogens, or of the research work carried out in Norway and Sweden in 2003, which showed bin men were suffering serious respiratory problems with the risk of long term health problems. At the time the Local Government Association said it would not be a problem in the UK as rubbish was collected weekly!
The World Health Organisation has warned of the risks to public health if waste is not collected at least weekly.
The trial has to now be evaluated. But who can trust the bunch of liars who have pushed the trial?
During the recent local elections, deputy leader of the council Roland Dibbs, the man responsible for pushing fortnightly rubbish collection, claimed that fortnightly refuse collection was not an issue, that only one person had complained, that fortnightly waste collection would not have been introduced without ascertaining from across the country that fortnightly waste collections caused no problems!
Talking to people on the doorstep during the May local elections, we found that not only were people against (you could count on one hand those in favour or indifferent), they were very, very angry.
Many people said they had complained to the Council, only to be told they were the exception, the only one who had complained, one person showed us an e-mail he had written to Dibbs, and the arrogant reply, others had written to David Quirk (official responsible for the trial) and had an arrogant reply, many told us they had raised the issue with Dibbs and told him what they thought of him and his arrogant contempt for the local community, only he was not prepared to listen to what they had to say.
In the immediate aftermath of the election, Dibbs, and the equally arrogant leader of the council Peter Moyle, were again claiming fortnightly wast collection was not an issue, that people were not against.
Fortnightly waste collection is not the only gripe people have about the refuse collection service. A very common complaint is that rubbish is not collected, bins not returned to the property. Almost every week we find either the rubbish is not collected or the bins are not returned. And yet the council has recently praised the privatised service for performing such a good job. Dibbs once again claiming few complaints.
It must be a prerequisite to occupy a senior management position in the Rotten Borough of Rushmoor to be lacking in integrity and have the ability to lie
During the recent local elections a Freedom of Information request was made to the council re the number of people who had complained, the nature of the complaint, and action taken by the council.
The requested information was deliberately withheld until the day after the local elections!
110 people had complained. The gist of their complaints were: green bins (residual waste) too small (53) , general environmental health risks (22), maggots and flies (13), smells (22), rats (17), reduction in service (36) and miscellaneous (17). Every single complainant had been paid a visit by the council!
It begs the question what happens next, with the 6-month trial nearing its end, as no one trusts the council.
David Clifford, a vocal critic of fortnightly refuse collection, and many of the other crass policies of the council, a rare example of a councillor prepared to act on behalf of the local community, speak out and be counted, has set up on his blog an on-line poll to enable people to lodge their views.
The results of the poll may be viewed at:
David Clifford was forced to set up his own poll due to bloody-minded obstruction by Rushmoor officials, and in any case who can trust what is coming out of Rushmoor?
David Clifford asked the council some weeks, if not months, ago, they set up an on-line poll in order that the local community could register their views on fortnightly waste collection. He met the usual bureaucratic refusal to get off backsides, get fingers out of arses and do some work. But the real reason for inaction was that the last thing the council wanted to hear was what the local community wanted. The truth though will out.
David Clifford has already been attacked by Dibbs for setting up an on-line poll, with the inference that the result will be ignored.
Who do we trust, an honest councillor with a proven track record of acting for the local community, or a councillor who has repeatedly lied on fortnightly waste collection, a councillor with arrogant contempt for the local community?
In attacking David Clifford for setting up an on-line poll, Dibbs once again repeated his lies that 'he had only heard one negative comment'. If we were to give him the benefit of the doubt we would have to assume he has a hearing problem, or his brain fails to register what he is told.
Dibbs though is going to have a hard job maintaining his position.
The local press has been inundated with letters objecting to fortnightly waste collection.
The most recent by Robert Winter, being typical of what we found on the doorstep.
Peter Sandy, until recently a hard working councillor, has had almost 7,000 households write to him objecting to fortnightly waste collection, with several hundred of these coming from the ward that Dibbs allegedly represents.
The on-line poll set up by David Clifford has the overwhelming number of votes against fortnightly waste collection.
The neighbouring local authorities: Hart, fortnightly an unmitigated disaster; Waverley the Lib Dems wiped out in the local elections as punishment for introducing fortnightly waste collection; in Guildford, the Lib Dems gave an election promise not to introduce fortnightly waste collection because it had proved to be such an unmitigated disaster in neighbouring Rushmoor and highly unpopular in Waverley (it was also proving highly unpopular in neighbouring Mole Valley).
Further afield: Lincoln, a rock solid Labour stronghold, Labour wiped out for introducing fortnightly waste collection. Last year, the Lib Dems wiped out in Bolton for the same reason.
The Daily Mail has an on-line petition on fortnightly waste collections
There are two petitions on the Downing Street website
David Clifford, Your views in bins poll, letters, Surrey-Hants Star, 7 June 2007
John-Paul Flintoff, Eeeeeek!! Overflowing bins and pest control cutbacks are causing Britain’s vermin population to boom, The Sunday Times, 29 April 2007
Beth Hale, Black Death bacteria found in bins left uncollected for fortnight, The Mail on Sunday, 6 May 2007
Mathew Hickley, Fly-tipping menace of cutting the bin rounds, Daily Mail, 28 February 2007
George Jones, 9m homes no longer have weekly bin collection, Daily Telegraph, 19 April 2007
David Lindsell, Councillor sets up own poll on AWC, Farnborough News, 8 June 2007
Keith Parkins, Curitiba – Designing a sustainable city, www.heureka.clara.net, April 2006
Keith Parkins, Recycling – a tale of two councils, Indymedia UK, 5 January 2007
Keith Parkins, Fortnightly rubbish collection creating a plague of rats, Indymedia UK, 8 January 2007
Keith Parkins, Rats, Indymedia UK, 1 May 2007
Keith Parkins, International Compost Awareness Week, Indymedia UK, 3 May 2007
Keith Parkins, Lincoln bin revolt, Indymedia UK, 8 May 2007
Keith Parkins, Town centre demolition danger, Indymedia UK, 8 June 2007
Praise for firm doing street cleaning and bin collecting, Farnborough News, 8 June 2007
Recycling 'risks binmen's lungs', BBC News on-line, 29 March 2003
Jill Sherman, Collecting dustbins fortnightly is a rubbish idea, say campaigners, The Times, 27 April 2007
Rob Winter, Alternate week bin collections trial is an ordeal, letters, Farnborough News, 1 June 2007