Most of us are familiar with Network Rails "wrong kind of leaves" excuse to explain "leaves on the line" type delays to rail services. But where Network Rail lead, Northampton Borough Council are sure to follow with increased gusto and even greater hilarity and exposure to public ridicule.
Let me explain all:
A Northampton housing tenant informed me this week that the great mass of leaves outside his block of flats had got so out of control that they were now not only a danger to elderly residents who couldn't use the footpath without risk of slipping but also that the piles of leaves were attracting vermin looking for suitable nesting sites. Its not as if the leaves have suddenly accumulated, most of them have been there since the Autumn! So as a responsible citizen he contacted his landlord "The Council" to ask for them to be removed. He got a very speedy reply, in fact he got two.
The first came from a Customer Relationship Coordinator in the Neighbourhood Environmental Services directorate which informed him that:
"Leaf clearance is conducted by this department up to the edge of the Cartilage (sic) of the property but not encroaching onto pathways or garden spaces. This remains the responsibility of our Housing Department to maintain"
The second response came from a Housing Services Team Leader in the Housing Department who told him:
"I can confirm that Northampton Borough Council does not provide a programmed leaf removal service to any land owned and managed by the Housing Services Directorate"
It then went on to say inevitably that "in light of financial pressures" there are no plans in the future to change this.
So despite the tenants paying a service charge within their rent for "cleaning and maintenance" of communal areas, and despite the Housing Department being responsible for the up keep of their own communal gardens, picking the leaves up to stop people slipping on wet paths, or to stop rodents nesting within them is not it seems within their remit?
I raised this case on behalf of the tenant at this weeks Council Budget meeting and the Portfolio Holder for Housing Cllr Sally Beardsworth informed all present that the tenant should "Do what I have to do at home, and pick the leaves up for themselves" An extraordinary response given that the tenants already pay the council to pick them up for them? I wonder if Cllr Beardsworth would feel any different if she had a paid gardener, who told her that leaf picking wasn't in the contract? And are the tenants in the blocks of flats supposed to take it in turns at being the Floating Leaf Wardens?
It was a callous and unforgivable response from the portfolio holder, and a pointer perhaps to the levels of service our housing tenants can expect to get for their money in the future? Perhaps if the Council now admit to not being able to afford to provide a simple service like this, then the Council will consider repaying to the tenants all the money they have taken off of them in the first place to do so?
So it seems that these leaves will remain outside this block of flats and indeed others, because their in the wrong place for the contract. You see we now have "Highway Leaves" "Housing Leaves" and I guess within our parks even "Leisure Leaves" and whether or not they are picked up and taken away to prevent a fall or remove the risk of rat infestation is dependent purely on which way the wind blows.
Meanwhile in the Council's budget we noted a bid for £25,000 of new money to deal with "rat infestation of housing communal areas" which will have to be paid to an outside contractor after the Council closed down its Pest Control service last year as a budget saving.
So we cant afford a council rat catcher? we cant afford to pick up leaves outside our housing schemes, and we can't even afford to bring in an outside rat catcher to remove the rats from the uncleared leaves which shouldn't be there in the first place without making a bid for new money in the budget?
What a sorry state the Liberal DemocRATS on Northampton Borough Council have now got us all in.
Perhaps they should take a leaf out of Homer's book (from the Iliad than than the Simpson's) when he said "A generation of men is like a generation of leaves: the wind scatters some leaves upon the ground, whilst others the burgeoning wood brings forth _ and the season of Spring comes on. So of men one generation springs forth and another ceases"
So role on Spring 2011, I think a new generation of men and women springing forth at the Guildhall is desperately needed!
Meanwhile will the last one to" leaf" the Guildhall please switch out the lights?
- ► 2015 (22)
- ► 2014 (9)
- ► 2013 (24)
- ► 2012 (38)
- ► 2011 (56)
- ▼ 2010 (59)
- ► 2009 (66)
- ► 2015 (22)
- ► 2014 (9)
- ► 2013 (24)
- ► 2012 (38)
- ► 2011 (56)
- ▼ 2010 (59)
- ► 2009 (66)
Thank you for visiting "tonyclarkegreenparty" The views expressed here are mine and mine alone. They are made by me personally in my own capacity as free citizen and not as representative of any outside body or council that I may serve on or be employed by. However if anyone is offended by any of these comments or feels that they should be corrected then please contact me in the first instance at email@example.com and I will do my best to consider your comments and correct any errors.
100 key seats 1980's 1997 2013 50th Birthday 96 Abington Park absent parents abuse Academy Status Adam Simmonds Adam Simmonds. Police and Crime Commisioner Northamptonshire. Class A drugs Adam Simmonds. Police commisioner. Northamptonshire County Council Afghanistan Afro Caribbean Agent airbrushed for change airlines Al Quida Aldi allowances AlQuida Anarchist ANC Andrew Mitchell animated fairy story Anjona Roy Ann Frank Ann Timson Apathy Arab League Council Archway cottages Arms raid arrears. Northamptonshire race Equality Council Ashes to Ashes Ask a Socialist astragate Asylum seekers Audit Baathe Party bamboo joint Banana Banker barbecue tax Bashar Assad bbc BBC radio 4 Bedroom Tax Benefits benito mussolini Benjamin Netanyahu Big Freeze Big Society Billy Bragg Binners Birds black and white cats Black Swans Blair blogger blogs Blood Blowing smoke up your skirt Blue Light Services BNI BNP boardroom buffoons Bone marrow Boris Johnson borough council boot and shoe borough council elections Borough Solicitor BP Bradlaugh Brian Binley Brian Hoare brighton Britain in Bloom British Government broken britain Brown Pelican Bryn Estyn Children's Home budget cuts Bulgarian Bullingdon Club Burglars Bus Interchange Bus Station Bush businesmen Cabinet Call in campaigning Cannes canvassers capitalism Captain Ska Car Park Revenue car parks career wreckers carillion carlisle Carrillion CASPAR Castle Ward Castle Ward 2 Catherine Tate CDC censorship Census 2011 change Charity Commision cheating cheats chicago Chicago Fruit Police Chickens Child Abuse China Chloe Smith Chris Grayling Christmas Christopher Myers chronicle and echo Clement Attlee Cllr Andrew Simpson Cllr Andy Mercer cllr Bill Parker Cllr Brian Hoare Cllr Brian Markham Cllr David Mackintosh Cllr David Palethorpe Cllr David Perkins Cllr Dennis Meredith Cllr Elizabeth Gowen Cllr Gareth Eales Cllr Jean Hawkins Cllr Jim Harker Cllr Jim Harker Road Safety Cllr John Caswell cllr John Yates Cllr Malcolm Mildren Cllr PD Varnsverry Cllr portia wilson Cllr Richard Church Cllr Robin Brown Cllr Sally Beardsworth cllr Scott Collins Cllr Tony Buckley cllr Tony Clarke Cllr Tony Woods Cllr Trini Crake Clr David Perkins Clyde Loakes Coalition government cobblers combustion committee places Community Basher conference 2013 Conservative Conservative Party Conservatives consumption Contracts Corby corporate fools corporate spin corrupt Council Council tenants councy council County Council Election county council elections CPS credit crunch crime Crimea cuts CWU Daily Mail daniel hannan mep. NHS Daventry District Council David Cameron David Harvey David Perkins. Brenden Glynane David Ross day fotlu DDC debt decent homes Defend Council Housing Delapre Abbey democracy wreckers destruction disaster DIT Britain Dostiyo Dot Cotton Duckenfield Duckinfield Ealing Council Earworm Community East Midlands in Bloom East Midlands Labour Party easy read economy Ed Balls Ed Millaband Ed Milliband education election Elections 2013 Electoral iregularity Ellis Island email Emilie Oldknow Emily Oldknow Empowerment fund Enterprise Enterprise Managed Services Environment Agency Eric Pickles ester ranzen EU euro European parliament expelled F W De Clerk F*ck you facebook FAir is worth fighting for Fairground ducks Fairytale of New York Far Right fire Fish MArket Fitzy fixed penalty notice Flashman Floods Florence and the Machine flytipping Fountain free Friends of Delapre Abbey Full Council Gaddafi Gang Culture Gaza GDP general election Geoff Howes George Bush George Bush Jr George Osborne George Osbourne Germany Glasgow mosque GMB Golden Handshake google gordon brown government Government Cuts Grant Shapps greed Greedy Bankers Greek economy Green Green Party Greyfriars growth 1980's Guantanaomo Bay. Shaker Aamer Guernsey Harry Enfield Havelock Havildar Gaje Ghale haymarket Hazel Blears health Helicoptors Help the aged highways Hillsborough hoodies hope not hate House of Commons House of Lords Housing Housing numbers Housing. eviction human rights Ian Gibson IDF il duce Immigration imprint Independent Independent Green Independent Network independents India Injunction inquiry international internet Iran Iraq Iraq war ISIS Islamaphobia Israel Italy IVA jedward Jeremy Clarkson jerk chicken Jihadists Jimmy Carr Jimmy Saville jingles Joe Joyce John Dickie john gardner John Lennon Johnston Press Journalists justice justice for the 96 KBC Ken Livingstone Kevin Quigley Khudadad Khan KPMG Kraken Kurdistan La Madala Labour Labour Group Labour Party Lady Wantage Lampedusa Land Tax Lansbury last of the summer wine Leadership election league two Learning difficulty Learning Disability Lebanon Lee Barron leeds Legal and General Liar Liar Lib Dem Liberal Democrat Liberal Democrats Liberals Libya libya. david cameron Likely lads Lily allen Liverpool lloyd grossman local candidates local governance local government Local Government Association local press localism bill Loft insullation London Labour London Olympics london riots Loo of the year Lord Mandelson Lord Michael Ashcroft Lord Stuart-Smith Lord Taylor Lord Waterhouse LSE Mackenzie mad as a box of frogs Madiba Mahmoud Abbass Malcolm Mildren Margaret Thatcher Market Square Market Square Fountain Market Trader Martyn Gilleard martyrs May 2ns Medhi Hussein media Michael Ellis Michael Foot Michael Turner QC Micheal Ellis MP micheal martin Middle Classes Middle East migrants Mike Ferrigan Milk Snatcher millions Miserable old sod mk dons mortgages MP's Expenses mps expenses Multi Agency Group Muslim community mydavidcameron.com Narrowboats Nasseem Nicholas Taleb Nathan Worrell National Debt national front Nato Nazis. EU NBC NCC Neil Lewington Neil Magregor NEL. MIPIM Nelson Mandela Neo Nazis NEP New Statesman New Year NHS Nick Clegg nick clegg.norman clegg Nick Griffin Niel Kinnock NNDC NNJPU Noor Inyat Khan North Wales Police Northampton Northampton Borough Council Northampton Chronicle and Echo Northampton Conservatives Northampton Independent group northampton independent voice Northampton Labour Party Northampton Labour Party. Northampton Borough Council Northampton Liberal Democrats Northampton Saints Northampton South Northampton South Conservatives Northampton Town Football Club Northamptonshire County Council Northamptonshire County Council Elections Northamptonshire Enterprise Limited Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership Northamptonshire Music Service Northamptonshire Police Norwich North not all party's are the same ntfc Number 10 Observer Oil Old Labour Oliver Tambos Paddy Tipping MP pakistan Palais de Festival Palestine Parish Poll. Police Commissioner Elections parking parking services parliament parsons Party Political Broadcast Paul Blantern Paul Varnsverry PCC Pegasus Penalty Charge Notices pensioners pest control pest express Peter Mandelson Peter Righton pfi phillip mears photos for all occasions Pinky and Perky Plain English planning police Police and crime Commissioner Police Commisioners Police Commissioner elections political Polycythemia Pope Francis poplar porkie pies President Obama privatisation Professor Pongoo proportionality public consultation public deficit Public Service cuts purdah que sara sara Racism Radio 4 rats Rebekah Brooks reccession Recycling referendum refuse collection regional labour party relegation Rememberence Sunday residents parking retail Richard Hannon right wing riots Robert Cottage Romanian roofing RPA act RSA Rushden Sainsburys Sally Keeble Sam King Scrutiny Seb Coe Second Life Shame on you shameless Shami Chakrabarti Sheltered Housing Shire shirkers Shona Deans Messinger silver medal Simon Cox Simon Williams Skateboarders skivers. scroungers Slipping back in time SNC Snow Spad speaker spies spring boroughs Spring Boroughs Residents squandering St Andrews st andrews road St James Stagecoach stagnation standard and poors standards board stealth tax Stephen Pound MP. Jeffrey Archer Steptoe and Son Steve Messham Stock Market street lights supergran suspended Syria Taliban Tax Evasion tax the rich tea team GB Terry Waite Tescos Tess Scott Thatcher The Cobblers The Conservative Party The Green 'Un The Green PArty The Press The Queen The Report The Ridings The Saints the story of broke the story of change the story of stuff The Sun through the keyhole ticckle Till Death do us part" Tom Watson MP Tony Blair Tony Clarke Tony Clarke MP Tony Woods Tory Tory Government Tory Party Tory's town centre trade unions Trees Trevor Kavanagh TTIP TUC Trident Tuck Inn TVC E-coli and coliforms tweets twitter UAF UK debt UK floods UK Government UK riots UKIP UKIP. Green Party UKIP. Labour Party Ukraine Ulric Cross ULT UN unemployment union flag unitary authorities unitary government Unite against Facism United Learning Trust united nations Unity College Upper class USA usual channels Vara Varnsverry. Guildhall vat Virtual vlog vote Walter Tull Waltham Forest Wardens watchdog WDC Welfare welfare cuts west northamptonshire joint planning unit Westbridge Westminster Weston Favell School what's the point of Nick Clegg wicked William Hague window dressing winter wonderland witch hunt WNDC WNJPU workers Working Class working mens clubs workshy written questions WWII youth services