Monday, June 13, 2011

Political brinkmanship over bins.

The brinkmanship that exists at the town hall has reared its ugly head again, this time over the issue of bin collections. The Tory controlled council plans to introduce fortnightly bin collections in October, a move that will save £600,000.

The council is also introducing a weekly food waste collection, through a two phase roll out – don’t be surprised if the marginal wards of Waddon, Addiscombe, Upper Norwood and South Norwood get the service first or last, depending on what the Tories perceive to be the public reaction to the fortnightly bin collection. If they could, and it is not outside the realm of possibility, the Tory council would introduce a food waste collection whilst maintaining the weekly bin collection in these wards (at least until June 2014), especially in Waddon! Such is the political landscape of Croydon, so long as the Tories hold on to their three seats in Waddon and retain their safe seats in the south, the Conservatives will end up controlling the council at the next cycle.

In the run up to the 2010 council elections in Croydon, the Tories maximised the revelation that Labour were planning to roll out fortnightly bin collections in their literature. Arguably, the weekly refuse collection figures prominently in the mind of voters when asked to name services the council provides. This may explain why Croydon Labour is calling for Cllr Phil Thomas, the cabinet member for the environment, to resign. No thought for the overall ball game, see the shot; take the shot. Unsurprisingly, Cllr Thomas is using our position as political cover.

After discussion, Croydon Green Party welcomed the food waste initiative for the following reasons:

  • Waste is a resource. Food waste which ends up in landfill is a source of methane, a harmful greenhouse gas.
  • Households would be incentivised to recycle more.
  • Faced with hefty fines for continuing to send waste sent to landfill through the EU Waste Directive, the government is using increases to landfill tax as a stick to beat councils into getting their waste in order. Such are the penalties, failure to act now will probably lead to cuts in other areas in the future.
  • The principle behind the Green Party’s position is a zero waste strategy. The fortnightly bin collections and weekly food waste are stops on the road to a zero waste strategy. This Tory council is not by any stretch if the imagination green. They would only introduce a weekly food waste collection if it leads to savings, not for any principled position on waste. In fact, the Tories in neighbouring Sutton have forced the Lib Dem council in Sutton to backtrack on their plans to introduce fortnightly bin collections to save money.
  • The council should use some of the £600,000 saved to promote Croydon’s Real Nappy Network. Parents should be able to trial real nappies through a voucher scheme. Real nappies cost less than disposable nappies in terms of the pocket and on the environment.
  • This initiative will help Croydon meet its recycling targets and reduce the need for a giant incinerator on the borders of Croydon.

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LokaSamasta said...

Great stuff £0.6 mill saved.

How much are we paying for prohibition of drugs?

Shasha Khan said...

Good question! In lives or in lost tax revenue?

Standing up for what matters