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April 28, 2007

Elections are Rubbish

Is the biggest talking point of this week’s local elections (in England, at least) rubbish? The newspapers, at least, are fuming about fortnightly collections and snooping wheelie-bins. Believe the hype, and it alone could bring down many Councils.

In some European countries, bins are collected daily or every other day. So why are we going in the opposite direction?

Because a) it’s environmentally friendlier and b) we don’t (yet) have temperatures that make festering rubbish such a problem.

Oh, and c) it’s cheaper. Local councils have been squeezed and squeezed for well over twenty years, and the only thing they can do is cut services or put up council tax.

Put the typical Daily Mail reader in a local council and ask them what they’d do. Given the limitations on how councils can spend their money, is there actually anything they could do better? Independent councillors and UKIP say they’d increase rubbish collections. They are in the lucky(!) position of not having to carry out their promise.

Grumpy Joe Public hate only a few things more than fortnightly rubbish collections: higher council tax is definitely one of them. What they forget to realise is you have to have one or the other.

But once tabloid newspapers find a bandwagon, common sense becomes irrelevant.

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