Thursday, June 18, 2009
It's not often that I give house room to the Daily Mail. My attention has been drawn to its latest campaign by a party member in Darlington, who thoroughly approves of its campaign against the introduction of wheelie bins.
The cause celebre at the moment appears to be their intrusion into Henley-on-Thames, which I'm guessing (because the Mail doesn't tell us) is a Tory-run council. Today's edition has a fresh update on their campaign, with some lurid pictures from round the country of streets and front gardens containing wheelie bins and, well, not a lot else.
Wheelie bins or black plastic sacks? It's a debate that clearly divides Middle England (as the comments accompanying the article makes clear) but it is a fact that wheelie bins are especially unpopular in terraced streets with limited yard or garden space. It was a complaint I heard several times during the European campaign. For sure, black sacks can be targetted by foxes and crows, but they are much easy to store in advance of bin day.
Leaving aside the Mail's permanent Euro-hysteria (blaming their introduction on EC waste targets) it is a fact that councils who embark on the wheelie bin adventure seem to end up forcing residents to have smalled bins (to minimise waste) and then fining people for placing the wrong rubbish in the variously-coloured bins.
Labour In Darlington has never seen the need for wheelie bins to be introduced, and indeed now our new waste contract can deal admirably with black bags. I'm not aware of any public upswelling of support for them. It would appear from the ConservativeHome website that the Tories are falling into line with the Mail's campaign, and all of a sudden are also against them. Which only leaves local LibDems as the wheelie bins' friends - in their last manifesto they wanted households to have at least 3!
We'll see how this issue plays out in the coming months...