The Local Government minister Eric Pickles has said how much he likes localism.
In just 7 weeks he has intervened in local government decisions on…
- rubbish collection and recycling
- flying flags
- food hygiene
- building at bank holidays
- council tax
Of course thats just edited highlights. Some of these I agree with the pronouncements from central government, others I disagree with. That isn’t the point: if you believe in localism then stop interfering in local government issues.
One announcement was entertaining: the news that the Audit Commission were told to stop telling people to change their bin collection arrangements. This was presented as Pickles stepping in to defend weekly collections of rubbish. It was no such thing, it was an empty vacuous piece of spin.
Those Councils (like South Cambs and Cambridge City locally) that have alternate weekly collections know that Pickles is talking rubbish (sorry). It works. There isn’t a problem with flies or smells for most of us who can cope with keeping the bin lid shut. It reduces the amount of rubbish to landfill by providing the spare men/trucks to do other collections and making a few people think about their behaviour when they run out of bin space.
I do hope Andrew Stunell, who is supposed to be the Local Government Minister, can get a grip on his boss.