Friday, August 15, 2008

Fly the EU Flag... No thanks...

Seems some councillors have started to see sense, not all of them of course, but one in particular springs to mind.

Step forward Mr Tony Austin a Tory councillor from Canterbury. Who upon the Executive Committee receiving "guidelines" from the Dept of Culture, Media and Sport, which suggested Canterbury fly the EU flag 19 times per year, made the comment that "As many council services were contracted out, it would cost about £30.00 per time to fly the EU flag in various locations throughout the city". He also stated "To be honest I'm not that happy about flying it at all. I am sceptical about the advantages of being in Europe."

The council voted just to fly the EU flag on Europe day 9th May!

Well well even the councillors are learning that people just don't want the EU.

Well done the Exec Committee of Canterbury City Council, at the next vote try and get a not fly at all motion!

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Bin Battle II ....

Following on from a recent post, now residents in Huddersfield have taken up t' gauntlet with the local refuse collection company.

After a recent strike by the bin men when no refuse was collected from their street, the residents in a "spur of the moment" action, formed a human ring round the refuse truck after the bin operatives refused to take the old rubbish. The rubbish had been in situ since the strike, and had not been collected and the binmen were going to leave about eight sacks of rubbish, until the residents put a stop to their getaway.

It is disheartening for normal council tax payer to be forced into this sort of action, just to get services that they are paying and have paid for. The councils line given by an un-named spokesman, said "This minor incident was quickly resolved in line with what we would expect of our collection crews. "
"All the refuse was collected. We always respond to any calls we receive from householders."

This blatantly is not true otherwise why were these residents forced to take matters into their own hands. The councils action for me is akin to the governments policy of "move along there, nothing to see".

Well done the residents of Huddersfield, the fight back just might be starting in earnest.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Were there's muck there's brass!!!

Ever like me wondered with the rise in prices of recycled materials, such as cardboard, paper, glass and metals, that our councils aren't raking in millions of pounds in profits?

Well apparently the answer is because they have entered into contracts with recycling companies, all well and good you say, but the kicker is that some of these contracts are for 25 years in length!

Now I understand that councils have to go for what is achievable, without putting to much of a drain on the public purse, but I ask you, 25 year contracts, which idiot signed off on these contracts. Don't get me wrong I understand that some of these companies need to guarantee an income, but surely common sense would dictate that contracts should be for a few years and then up for renewal!

If one parliament cannot tie the following parliament, surely this must be true of the councils. One Council should not be able to bind its successors, so the contracts should be able to be renegotiated, at a more favourable rate than at present for the councils concerned.

In lancashire the county council have a metal collecting service for all lancashire residents, you phone the contact number, they then come and pick up free of charge any metal waste. I used this service recently when getting rid of an old filing cabinet. The company was council owned and arrived within the stated timescale. I asked the operator of the vehicle how they (the council) were able to do it for free and was told, that the rise in price for scrap had shot up from £80.00 per tonne to over £200.00. Which made it worthwhile for the council to do its own metal collection and also to do it for free.

Now if I am honest I really don't expect Lancashire County Council to continue the service for free ad infinitum, but at least they are making inroads in providing a free service that earns much more than it costs to run.

I admit I had thought no more about it until an article in the Express today (article not available online) reminded me, but it does go to show that some councils do try to do their bit.

Now can only hope that the profits made will go into reducing the Council Tax bills, but I won't hold my breath.

But it would be interesting to find out how much companies who collect the recycling on the councils behalf are actually making out of all this rubbish!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Bin battle won? So onto the war...

In today's Express, a piece about "bin" victor Roger Houlker, a 56 year old solicitor from Congleton in Cheshire caught my eye.

It seems that the solicitor took his local council to the Local Government ombudsman, for their failure to either issue his family with a second wheelie bin, or collect extra bags of rubbish he left beside his full bin.

The ombudsman Anne Seex, ruled in his favour and found the council guilty of "maladministration with injustice", she also voiced her concerns that though the council had the right to limit the number of bins it issued, she had reservations about whether the councils binmen could refuse to take extra bags.

Could it be at last we are seeing a resurgence of common sense in councils dealings with its customers, ie, the taxpayers? For far too long it appears that all councils actions have been contrary to what the taxpayers wanted or needed or even expected.

One small battle won in the war of the bins, which council will be next to fall!

Thank you Mr Houlker for refusing to lie down and take the proverbial rogering that councils wish to inflict on us all, well done that man!

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Thursday, August 07, 2008

Global Warming

Now I class myself as a man made global warming sceptic, I am not stupid enough to state categorically that there is no such thing as climate change, as quite obviously there is, the seasons in the UK, spring summer, autumn and winter. These seasons show me that there are seasonal climate changes, therefore I must accept that the climate does change.

I was also taught at school about the ice ages that the planet we all inhabit has gone through over past millenia, thereby showing that the planets climate as a whole is constantly evolving. Through geological studies we know that at some times in the past the UK has been under ice, under the sea, a desert and had a tropical climate. So more proof, were it needed, that the worlds climate does indeed change.

What I am unsure about is the "man made" tag that has been added on, which states that man has and is continuing to affect the worlds climate.

Now being 40+ years of age, I can just about remember smog in Lancashire. Smog being a mix of smoke and fog, from which due to the heavy industries in the North West we suffered along with other industrial areas in the UK. In order to rid the areas of this problem the powers that be, made whole towns and cities smokeless zones. This improvement started with the Clean Air Act in the late 50's, which succeeded over a period of time in getting rid of the problem. We now do not have the problem of smog.

That is not to say that the air quality is as good as it could be, but shows that improvements can be made which benefit all but which don't cost the earth.

As an aside, the local pub that I frequent had installed prior to the smoking ban, a top of the range air cleaning system, which when tested with smokers on site, cleaned the air so well that you noticed a marked drop in air quality when going outside.

Anyway, I can accept that as with the smog problem, man may cause some problems in the atmosphere. What I find hard to believe is that they can tie it down to one specific gas, namely CO2.

At school I was taught that all living animals breath in oxygen and exhale CO2, the only life on the planet that did it differently was plant life, they absorb by various means the CO2 and as a by-product give off oxygen in the process.

So I am informed by the BBC, the government, the greens and the IPCC that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, that its production is increasing the warmth of the planet, and promising dire consequences if mankind does not seriously cut its CO2 production!

Notwithstanding that the UK on average produces about 2% of the worlds total of CO2 gases, which means should we stop producing any CO2 at all, the benefit to the planet would be negligable! Plus given the rise in India and China and their CO2 production any gains made, would be cancelled out within months if not weeks!

Now correct me if I am wrong but these same august bodies promised in the 70's that the earth was cooling down and that we were heading into a minor ice age? Yet 30+ years later and its exactly the opposite! Not very consistent are they, however they do remind me off the catholic church and its assertion that the earth was the centre of the universe, they even put under house arrest one poor bloke for daring to question this belief!

If the threat of man made global warming was and is so serious, then why the fuck are people like Al Gore, the UK's Prime Minister and his cabinet, the USA's President and all the worlds leaders so bloody fond of flying around the planet?

These days of Broadband, Video links etc, they don't really need to set foot out of their respective countries. Or could it be more simply, that as with communism, all are equal, but some more equal than others.

Ultimately as far as I am concerned they have not proved their case, and whilst we have world leaders telling me "to do as I say, not as I do", I shall remain a sceptic and as such am more than willing to wear the badge of a man made climate change heretic.


Monday, August 04, 2008

Winds of Change

The times we are told are changing, maybe its true, it certainly seems that as Incapability Brown has fewer followers than he had, and even less clout, as Millibrat set out his vision of the NewNu Labour future that he wanted to see.

Not much on substance, and just more tired old rejigs of the mantra, we will change etc etc, but it shows that all is definitely not well in the Brown world of politics.

The newspapers and MSM are all asking will he go or will he be pushed screaming out of an office, that he has shown he is unable master nor manage. The MSM have finally tumbled to that which we mere mortals have known for some time that Brown wasn't right, the shifty looks (some say creepy) the nail biting, the control freakery and the obvious deficiency in intelligence and intellect. He was never ever going to be the showman that Blair was, all the silly fucker had to do was not be outed, keep his head down and all might have been alright.

His indecision about the possibility of an election sparked notice that here was a bottler, and he started to look more and more shifty, the signing of the Lisbon Treaty late and behind closed doors without witnesses showed us his shame and his knowledge of that shame proving he knew we didn't want it, yet went ahead.

He and his cohorts deserve the kicking they are going to receive at the hands of the electorate come polling day, but for me that is much to lenient, the members of the labour party should all be strung up as a warning to the tories and all other "career politicians" to behave or they will be next!

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