In response to Steve Percy’s ‘News from the People’s Parking Protest’ article in the last edition of The Whistler, it’s not a “blanket” 20 mph scheme and never has been. The council very clearly excluded a long list of roads from this recent consultation. Pro-motoring people continue to repeat this incorrect “blanket” description despite the facts. Most residents want 20 mph outside their front doors.
Dear Whistler Readers
We are very sorry for any recent disruption with the bins. Our crews are working hard, but the Christmas and New Year period invariably involves a lot of catch-up work in January, and they have also been working in terrible weather conditions which hasn’t helped.
We are very aware that this has been frustrating for residents, and we have made improvements to our call centre service so that reports of non-collections can be dealt with more effectively.
Rubbish and recycling will be the discussion topic at the next WHAT (West Hill Action Team) meeting where residents will have the chance to meet CityClean staff.
For further details of the WHAT, contact email@example.com
Pete West, chair of Environment, Sustainability and Transport committee
Put simply, this scheme only serves to demonstrate how quickly and easily well-meaning people can become out of touch once they become professionally involved in Politics, which is exactly the opposite of what should happen. Whatever Party, they are all, in varying degrees, complicit. They get embroiled in their meetings, councils and debates whilst the rest of us go about our daily business with all that it involves.
When I first heard about this scheme I was shocked and appalled and wrote immediately to the Council to explain why I thought it unwise and inappropriate – it may make great economic sense on paper, but it was clearly full of holes as anybody remotely in touch with the heartbeat of Brighton would know straight away. I received a very stock response claiming that the scheme had been overwhelmingly well-received and “would continue to be monitored”. The kind of response I would expect from a Tory Councillor in Marlow, rather than a Council that claims to be different and caring in Brighton!
Brighton is an extremely busy commuter town, with many people getting up at 04.00/05.00 and arriving back at 21.00, 5 days (at least) a week, as we do. That’s the first thing that should have been thought of. Just when are you going to take bottles etc to a bin in the street when you are already dashing for the 05.10 to London Bridge? Our weekends are, of course, precious and getting to the gym, shops, for a walk etc take every waking hour. This is actually the norm, not the exception: I know, I travel with hundreds of people who live this way every day.
Even if we were inclined, or had time in the morning, what about the noise of materials, including bottles etc descending into that bin for our neighbours? It has to be acknowledged too, that (whether you care to admit it or not) Brighton is a “party town” and most households in our street have a large number of bottles accumulated by Sunday night! You can choose to adopt the “Well, that’s not something the Council can take into account” or “Maybe this will encourage people to drink less and therefore the scheme will be beneficial. “But that just goes back to the Brown/Blair Nanny State approach. “Let then sip Evian, whilst we all get smashed on free booze 5 nights a week in Westminster. It’ll reduce the stress on the NHS”.
In Brighton, there are affluent, professional, busy people who drink too much. Fact. Get over it (Council). It’s not a few random students/clubbers; it’s practically the whole town! Not to mention the excessive levels of recyclable packaging generated by post 22.00hrs instant dinners, and plastic milk containers (for that much-needed morning coffee) from the M & S at the Station!
When I wrote to the Counctil, I pointed out that the planned location of these new bins was at the end of our street (Clifton Street), right outside an old lady’s bedroom! This did not appear to be of any interest. Disappointing.
When I first moved to Brighton, I was heartened, and immediately engaged with “Magpie”, a terrific Collected Re-cycling service. Great idea/service, and sincere (nothing going off to landfill). Of course, they charge (very fairly) for their service and it is to this that my wife and I have now gone back. Ironically, I felt bad when I cancelled their service in favour of the Council scheme, but thought, “Well, it can only be good that this becomes the norm for all towns, rather than relying on private services”. The rest of Britain, indeed, then followed suit, but now Brighton has regressed. One city that really needs, benefits from, and embraces a Collected Re-cycling scheme, is Brighton.
When I saw your cover photo, I was annoyed. Oh, so predictable. Who did the “maths” as to how much re-cycling would need to be accommodated by the new bins? Brighton is busy; it commutes; it wants to re-cycle; it party’s. What more do you need to know to make an informed decision?
Anyway, I’m off for a bottle of beer from the fridge now. Love the magazine.
Neil Smith, Clifton Street