Saturday, 15 August 2009

And so it begins...........................................

From yesterdays Northampton Chronicle and Echo:

As predicted the easy and probably deserving targets come first, but Black Sack Offenders and Barbecue fans everywhere be on your guard, the Council fixed penalty notice is coming to a street near you very soon.....................................


  1. Tony,

    Please don't think I am sticking up for anyone here, but I wanted to add my thoughts if I might?

    While I agree with you on a lot of things, I am not sure about this... yet! (Feel free to explain things though)

    Surely it cannot be wrong to fine someone who does not pick up their dog mess? I always used to do it, even when our dog got old and inconstant... which was not pretty I can assure you!

    And it can't be wrong to fine people who have no regard for our beautiful countryside? Maybe the town would be cleaner if those who drop litter were made to pay a fine?

    Black Sacks, were in my opinion always an ugly eyesore. Plus, if they got ripped before they were picked up; caused a huge amount of mess.
    However, I do wish they came to pick up the bins more often... We could do without using the glass collections, and even keep the brown bin the same. But it is the black bins we need more collections of, maggots are nasty little buggers! (Especially when you mix them with our resident ants!!!)

    We never get to have a Barbecue anymore, so I don't think this would apply to me; however if you want to come and cook for us... I'm sure we'll think again lol.

    Also, on another completely different note... what in the blue hell is going on at the Cobblers mate? I really am not sure anymore, I just can't see us being alright! It all doesn't bode very well I am afraid.

    Anyways, thanks as always for keeping me entertained with your blog!

  2. Nicky,

    Nothing wrong with either, dog mess and litter are the bain of modern life, and voters will be very pleased.

    But you need to look deeper.

    10 years ago Councils were providers of service with Park Keepers, and wardens in sheltered housing schemes and street sweepers a plenty.

    Then they became enablers, contracting out all the work to the cheapest provider and culling the work force.

    And now they are becoming enforcers. People have moaned about dog mess and litter for years and the council passed by leaws and did nothing to enforce them. Now under the 'fixed penalty notice' system they are suddenly taking an interest. Good news in a way.

    But as with parking what starts with all good intentions to keep the streets clear ends up with tickets being handed out like confetti for any dismeanor under the sun.

    The issue becomes less a case of lets protect the public and more a case of lets earn money.

    Thats why I pointed out that Westminster Council now earns more from parking tickets than do in Council Tax!

    What starts of as good news will end up in Councils employing less people to provide services and more people to issue tickets to earn money.

    I was elected to manage services not to control an enforcement force.

    As to your other question re the Cobblers, fixed penalty notices all round for failing once again to play to our stengths. We need a midfield badly, and a goal or two wouldn't go amiss.

  3. I see where you are going with this, and I agree (shock horror) with you. It does seem like everything is being cut or stretched to make money our of us tax payers.

    Some might argue the case that with the way the finical climate is now and with the debt both councils are undoubtedly in, it is; to some extent understandable.

    Firms do have to make cut backs to save on whatever outlay they can, everyone is trying to tighten their belts; and I am sure you yourself have felt the "pinch" in one way or another. My parents have had to do just as much work for less pay, having been asked (or should that be told) they have to work almost a four day week type thing.

    So just how do the council(s) give the same amount (or even better) of care with less money available to them? I know I find it neigh on impossible to cope with the bills I have; and that's even with the fact I hardly have any!

    I was always taught (when I actually sat down long enough) by my folks that you cannot borrow what you don't have... I have not always liked this lesson, but it is one I do try and stick to.

    It must be the same for councils and what have you, they can only pay so much on the services we need; because (without putting up tax etc) they only have so much available to them.

    And with regard to the Cobblers... if you can get us some wins under our belt, I shall pin down Tony Woods and get something sorted with the services etc.

    (I just read that back, man that didn't sound right did it? I hope that you being my mate will not hold that against me and rub it in!)

    I don't have my spelling head on this morning... no sleep does that to you!

  4. Nicky,

    I like your comments, It shows you are thinking through the issues and past the obvious conclusion.

    In times of recession though Councils and Governments should lead the way out of strife through public engagaement and where neccesary public employment, not by penalising and criminalising the same public they should serve.

  5. Thanks for the compliment Tony, I do try to see all sides of an argument etc. Plus I also thought I best do something constructive with this membership now that I have it!

    (Do you know, I hate my phone with a passion... I wrote an answer all out last night and it would not let me post it... Couldn't even save the dang text... Just hope I can remember all I wanted to say!)

    I agree that in times of recession and strife the Councils and Governments SHOULD help out and lead the way, but we both know this does not always happen right? I dare say if this was the case by the time of the next election we will be stuck with Labour and Brown for another god knows how long! (Scary thought huh?)

    One thing I didn't understand though, was what you meant by public engagement... I'm not sure I understand what you mean by it, though it could just be you and your love of using a million words when a few will do lol... just teasing!

    Anyways, all being well I should see you at the next football; if not that next Overview & Scrutiny meeting in the week. Take care my friend, hope all is well too.




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