Wednesday, January 30, 2008

It's official; politician's talk s#!t

Having finally got our hands on a copy of this months' Council agenda one of the first things we normally look at is the Motions, mostly because they are on the first page. Something was a little different this time though, namely that all three of the political parties on Greenwich Council decided to put a motion in, normally it is just the Tories and Lib Dems as Labour is able to put on the agenda whatever it likes.

This time the lucky members of the public who decide to give up their evening to go along can look forward to the Tories talking about the London Bubble Theatre's lack of funding, Labour on the Nottingham Declaration on Climate Change and finally the Lib Dems talking about used nappies. Yep that's right, in the same meeting as such heavyweight topics as Single Status proposals which could see the council forking out over £20m to council employees and a presentation about local health service cuts the Lib Dems' Dynamic Duo thought that time would best be spent on this;

Motion Signed by Councillors Paul Webbewood and Brian Woodcraft

The Council already encourages reusable nappies as an environmentally friendly alternative to disposables. Council now wishes to follow the example of many other local authorities and provide new mothers with a financial incentive to use reusable nappies. Council asks the Cabinet Member for Greener Greenwich [nb. Cllr Sidhu] to bring forward proposals for a local scheme, based on best practice elsewhere, by the end of the current financial year.

You could argue that depending on the amount of Rusks the nippers have eaten this could be the heavyweight topic they were hoping for, but its unlikely. Alternatively perhaps this is in preparation for the orange bags full of used nappies that haven't been picked up over the last couple of weeks.

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Monday, January 28, 2008

Schooled in Greenwich?

According to Private Eye no. 1202, former Labour deputy leader contender Peter Hain's had as his Campaign Manager one Steve Morgan, who apparently is a former Greenwich Councillor. If anyone has any details as to what he got up to back then then please do get let us know.

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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Smells like trouble

Over December Greenwich Council has been telling the proles that the bin and recycling collections are going to change, December is often a time that the council decides to tell people of important things which might effect them but that the council don't want to have to deal with them then asking what's going on, after all a lot of people are busy running up debt. The Compulsory Purchase Order for Love Lane in Woolwich is a prime example of this. Back to Recycling, and the first question is why, from what we've heard the new plans seem to come from central government who want every Council to reach future EU recycling targets. If the Councils don't make the targets they get fined and neighboring Bexley is potentially looking at a £1.5m fine unless it starts to, well clean up its act.

The blue top recycling bins are now supposed to be collected weekly along with green top bins which will have kitchen and garden waste, with all that is left going in black bin bags and collected once every two weeks. Here's the list of things that the Council things will be going into the black bags to be collected once a fortnight;
  • polystyrene
  • disposable nappies
  • clothing and shoes
  • waxed food and beverage cartons
  • batteries and electrical waste
  • pet waste (except waste from small pets on a vegetarian diet)
  • cat litter
  • vacuum cleaner waste
  • sanitary towels and incontinence pads
  • coal and wood embers
  • cotton wool pads/buds and make-up wipes
  • cigarette ends and ashtray contents
  • coat hangers
  • broken crockery
Council List

Would you want to hold onto used Cat Litter, or waxed food cartons for two weeks? Does the list look optimistically short?

Over the years many councils moved towards wheelie bins from black bin bags, one of the reasons was, urban foxes, who like nothing better than to tear these open and see what's inside, so it is likely that once a fortnight your street is going to be littered with the items on the list above and given the road sweeping ability it might hang around for a while.

Green top and Red top bins will be collected once a week and should only have compostable material in them, the idea then is to industrially compost this and use it to power the council's truck fleet using a new processing plant. Now where's this plant going to go, well where does the council normally dump stuff, yep, Thamesmead.

If this is the first that you've heard of all of this remember that according to a Council meeting questions answered last year by Cllr Rajwant Sidhu the Council has so far spent over £123,000 on telling the public. But don't tell them that as it would only give them an excuse to increase their communications budget again.

This is unlikely to be the end of this story...


We've been informed that right now the Greenwich Council Customer Service is “ present we are facing unprecedented demand.”

Could this be because the bins haven't been emptied?

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Asking the right questions?

Having see a survey which is being put around by the Metropolitan police for all community leaders and associations we've got to ask if the right questions are being asked? The questions in this terrorism survey included such gems as:
What do people feel needs to be done to make people feel safer and protected from terrorist attacks?
What should the local Police be doing on a day to day basis to disrupt and prevent terrorism related offenses?
How could the MPS (Metropolitan Police Service) get better information regarding what is happening in local communities?
Talk about asking questions that you already know the answers to, maybe an extra question could have been included:
Do you know where a terrorist is?


Feeling nearly as bloated as the Council's Communications budget...

After the excesses of food and drink from the festive period and some time off we're back. Whilst we've got to work though a few of the recent council papers to see what their up to we'll take this chance just to say that this site is about the people of Greenwich making their point. Doesn't matter if your a council worker, local journalist, community worker, a local resident or even if your just passing though Greenwich if you have a story to tell then email us and we'll do the rest.