Friday, 3 January 2014

Rubbish Collection. Blame it on The Boogie.

Thanet Council's new refuse recycling scheme is a good thing. Almost everyone I have spoken to believes that recycling food, plastics, glass, paper and cans is a very commendable thing to do. Its a sustainable environmentally friendly process which reduces the need for using landfill.

But after 2 months of operation, the system is still not right. Missed collections are still common. Reports of  separated recycling being mixed up at collection are frequent. I accept there has been some bad weather and I pay tribute to the staff who have worked hard in awful conditions, but the bad weather does not fully explain the persistent problems. Even Councillor Allan Poole, the Cabinet member responsible for refuse collection said in an e-mail yesterday "We do have a number of missed collections for which there does not appear to be an easy explanation".

Also there has been an appalling lack  of communication by the Council about the problems with refuse collection over the Xmas period. Many people in Thanet use social media to find out what's happening. But the last time that Thanet Council's Facebook page was updated was 16 October! The Council's use of  Twitter has also been incredibly poor considering that there hundreds of properties which have not had collections. The Council website is not being updated often enough and the Council has failed to make effective use of the local press or local radio to keep people informed about the refuse collection during the Xmas period.

But what annoys me most is how Councillor Allan  Poole keeps blaming other people for the failure of the system which he is in charge of. In his e-mail of yesterday he blames his managers saying "Supervisors are tasked with managing collection crews efficiently". In his e-mail of yesterday he also blames local people  saying "inconsiderate parking by residents, bins put out on the wrong day or put in the wrong place or contaminated " are the cause of the collection problems. And of course there is Councillor Poole's famous gaffe at the Council meeting on 5th December where he again blames local residents for the difficulties with the new system because they didn't read leaflets! Here is the secret recording I made against Council rules but produced in the public interest

Councillor Poole receives an additional allowance of £10,766 per year for  running the department responsible for rubbish collection. This is on top of his basic Councillor allowance of £4,360. Surely he should take some responsibility for the service failure instead of blaming hardworking staff and long suffering residents.

It feels very strange doing this, but for once I fully support the Thanet Council Conservative Group call for Poole to be removed from his rubbish portfolio. If Council leader, Clive Hart refuses to do so, then there should be vote of no confidence in Councillor Poole at the next Council meeting. Here is the Conservative press release which I support.

The Conservative Group at Thanet District Council is calling for the Labour Leader, Cllr Clive Hart to take responsibility for Thanet’s waste and recycling service away from the current portfolio holder, Cllr Alan Poole.
Residents of Thanet have reported numerous and significant problems with the service since the introduction of the new Waste and Recycling regime in November.  At December’s council meeting, Shadow Cabinet Member, Cllr Simon Moores asked Cllr Poole whether, given existing problems, he was confident that Thanet residents would get their waste collected over the holiday period.  Cllr Poole answered that he was.  Feedback from residents across the Isle suggests that, in fact, there continues to be significant failings in the service.

Cllr Moores said: “I recognise that over Christmas there were issues with the weather, but given the widespread concern over this issue, not just over the holiday period but since the introduction of the new recycling regime, I think that the public have lost faith in Cllr Pooole and it is time for a change of portfolio holder.”
Conservative Group Leader, Cllr Bob Bayford said: “Incredibly, Cllr Poole has blamed Thanet residents for problems with the new service and, clearly, contingency plans for an efficient service during the Christmas and New Year period were not adequate.  Cllr Hart has already removed Cllr Poole from the Pleasurama debacle, due to his incompetent handling of the situation, and it is imperative that he should now give responsibility for Waste and Recycling to someone up to the task.”

Here's Michael Jackson talking some sense about blame  

Don't blame it on the parking
Don't blame it on the wrong days
Don't blame it on the leaflets
Blame it on Poole


  1. Am I the only person in Thanet who hasn't had any problems with rubbish collection? Here in Westbrook the bins were emptied as scheduled on tuesday morning, and the communal bin in our road was even emptied on Boxing Day. So no complaints whatsoever.

    One thing I'd like to see the return of is for refuse trucks to have a shovel and broom with them. There was a time when they'd clear up any rubbish they drop, but these days they just leave it in the road (even dangerous items like cans and bottles).

  2. Supporting Conservatives Ian? Perhaps Mike Pearce's predictions about you joining UKIP in today's Gazette aren't so off the mark!

    1. Mystic Mike obviously has strange powers and crystal balls to boot. Personally I put this minor political spat down to too much sherry over the festive season which might have temporarily clouded my judgment. Normal service will be resumed shortly.

    2. I think it may be booze that clouded the management of Thanet District Council over the festive probably, in terms of waste 'management', to be referred to as the festering season, both the rubbish and this issue are becoming very septic!

  3. Yes Peter, you're the only one on Thanet who hasn't any problems.

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