it’s spooky but I thought I smelt a rat when I went on the council’s website and filled in their questionnaire about bin collections.
There was something about how the questions were phrased and placed that gave me the distinct impression that we were heading for a fortnightly bin collection, and the loss of our green bin service.
Despite that sinking feeling that I was answering questions which had been set so they produced the ‘right’ answer I persevered and filled in the form right to the end.
To be honest, I did say that my bin is not full every week but I did say I thought it best to retain the weekly service. Not for me but for others.
I was less altruistic when it came to the green bin.
I think it is one of the best things that the council has done for me in years. It makes gardening a doddle because the waste has its own bin and its own collection service. Great.
Now, however, the council has considered all the answers to its questionnaire and done its sums.
I reckon the latter won. The figures show that they can save a couple of million pounds a year by collecting our bins fortnightly and doing away with the green bin service.
It’s not a done deal. But I would be surprised if anything else was decided in the next couple of weeks.
You see, the council, the Labour Council that is, is blaming all of this on the mean old Government. The Lib Dem-Tory Coalition Government. If it weren’t for them we would have our bins emptied as often as we like.
I have one word for that argument: rubbish!
The council is not short of money.
In fact it rakes in, from various sources, around £1.5 billion a year. If you want it with noughts on, that is £1,500,000,000.
By anybody’s reckoning that is a fair old sum.
But Labour is happy to give the impression that the toffs in the Tory Party are making them provide a poorer service to the man and woman in Sheffield. Not only that, it is the only service that affects every man, woman and child in the city.
Everybody creates rubbish, everybody has a bin.
I know councillors face some hard choices. But it is not a simple black and white choice over bins. They have been singled out for a reason.
You see, politically speaking, this is an odds-on way to get the public seeing red (rag, that is).
There is money around. The Labour faithful in our town hall were happy to dig into the coffers and hand out another couple of million quid to the Park Hill flats vanity project the other day.
Wouldn’t that have kept the bins service for another 12 months?
And don’t believe it when they say these are Tory cuts. They are Government cuts and they would have been made whoever had been in power.
In fact, the £80 billion being shaved off public spending is a billion pounds less than Labour had proposed in its manifesto, according to the Institute of Fiscal Studies.
This is a political decision, nothing more and nothing less.
All I can say is that it would have been good if the public had been told this was in the wind when we went to the ballot box...