Saturday, 27 January 2018

Urban myth or truth?

Outside my front sitting room window there is a hill up from the lower part of the estate.   When there is ice on the road this hill becomes almost impassable and the cars slip and slide about unable to get to the top.

At the top is a Grit and Salt bin. (I can't help feeling it might be better half way down the hill) but last week, whe n the road was at its worst, the bin proved to be empty.  So every time  a good samariton slithered up the path with a shovel over his shoulder, it was to see him open the bin, see it was empty and to go back home without doing anything.

My  cleaning lady came and told me that someone from lower down the estate had put on Facebook about the empty bins and I have to say that within an hour of her going all the bins had been filled with grit and salt.   However, they were soon empty again (I suspect some was taken for private use as well as the public paths).   So, what happens next time?

Well a lady told me yesterday that the Council can only afford to fill the bins twice each winter on the present Council tax allowance for the job.   Apparently it costs £80 to fill a bin and some villages in hilly areas (we are in the Dales) have as many as seven bins.   This means £560 for that village alone or £1120 for the year.   And there are a lot of villages in the Dales.

Now this may or may not be true but it is food for thought .   We complain if our Council Tax goes up, we complain if the grit bins are empty.   How many more services are there like this?

Dog poo bins springs to mind (sorry!).   There are quite a few on the estate as there are also plenty of dogs and mostly responsible dog owners.   I don't know who empties them or when - I guess it just might be the bin men when they come round for our rubbish.   But the bins do get full to overflowing and people tend to put the poo bags on the floor round the base of the bin.   If it is a windy night they do tend to blow about all over the paths and roads surrounding.   Not a pretty sight.    So we say - the bins should be emptied more often.   I wonder how much that horrible job costs to do. 

Not a cheerful post by any means - not a cheerful day either - dull, blowy and damp in the air.   Not particularly cold though so we can't have everything.

16 comments:

Joanne Noragon said...

My township is hills and dales, too. The road crew stays on round the clock duty to get citizens through ice and snow storms. The trustees budget for extra plowing, at the cost of other "services". Once they provided plowing for senior citizen drives. No more; seniors plow or do without. There was outrage when the township was able to impose an income tax on national park employees. My response: you drive on these roads to get to work. Suck it up.
Or, there is no such thing as a free lunch. On the whole, it must be paid for.

justjill said...

Our council tax has been kept very low and I have yet to meet anyone who would not pay a bit more for services to be kept going such as gritting etc. And lots of other council services. I know it has a lot to do with what the government budget for councils is. Just hope it is not another way for privatisation to creep in when disaster then seems to follow.

Frugal in Essex said...

I used to live at the bottom of a steep hill and people used to take the grit for their drives. If bad weather was forecast we used to park our car at the top of the hill so we could get out. The council eventually used to include our road on their gritting run.

Librarian said...

I have the utmost respect for all those who do the unloved but so very necessary jobs, such as collecting our rubbish, cleaning our train stations and so on and so forth. Most of the time, they are underpaid and looked down on, but if they stopped working just for one week, everything around us would be horribly dirty and smelly.

Sue in Suffolk said...

No political party dare raise Council Tax - for 23 years at the smallholding our council tax only went up by about £20, yet everything else goes up. Although now we've moved and our council tax is more we don't want it to increase too much.
Not many hills needing salt bins in Suffolk!

Rachel Phillips said...

It seems like our local authority make decisions that do not reflect those of the local people and yet they are the people who voted for them. The ordinary people here would like more roads gritted but gritting has been cut. The county is under an extensive road changing programme of putting cycle lanes in and making narrow roads even narrower. Bikes are not seen using the bike lanes but are seen cycling on the car part of the road. None of it makes any sense from any side and the likelihood of all happily living on the same planet continues to be a distant dream. I have my own bags of salt and grit here which cost me £3 for 10kgs.

Shawn said...

I gather your post title reflects a bit of incredulity that the grit and salt cost so much? When government foots the bill, it's always higher. It would no doubt be cheaper if we each bought our own, but that doesn't help the folks who can't manage.

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

I love the job the greens workers do here, plating flowers, watering the flower baskets, and mostly before people are awake

Mac n' Janet said...

Hate taxes going up, but public safety must be a top priority and if they need to raise the rates they have to do it.

jinxxxygirl said...

hi Pat

i don't quite get how your title goes with your content...lol i was like OOOoooo an Urban Myth.. i like that kind of thing.. lol The problem i think is that prices keep going up but my pay doesn't keep going up.. Some people say on a fixed income may have trouble putting out just that 'little' more.. Hugs! deb

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

Food for thought, for sure. Some folks tend to grumble a bit about taxes - but are out there using the great public services they provide. Guess it takes all kinds. In our area there are no bins to put the dog poo bags in - each owner is expected to carry them home and dispose in their own trash cans. No one seems to mind and only occasionally do we see a bright yellow poo bag left on the ground.

Cro Magnon said...

I once wrote to my council in England asking for details about how much was collected annually from dog-fouling fines. You could do the same, and see how far you get!

thelma said...

Funnily enough when you start talking taxes, some people say they would pay more for instance the NHS. Local services though are something else. People drive through our village often at speed (not all) though we have loads of signs, yet you have to contact the police for surveillance to prove your case. This takes months. Next week several residents are entertaining our new councillor to see if he can do something about the bridge over the river, perhaps traffic lights. As you know Pat, lots of pretty narrow bridges are part of Yorkshire's charm but difficult to navigate, especially when faced by a large lorry or one of the enormous bits of farm machinery.

Sue said...

Here in picturesque North Wales on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park our laybys used to all have a couple of wheelie bins in them for people to deposit their rubbish. Since council cuts the bins have been taken away and signs put up instead asking people to take their rubbish home.

Some good folk do, others drive for a few minutes and then lob their tied up bags of rubbish, disposable nappies and Happy Meal boxes over the hedges into the fields, along the roadside verges and our up into our driveway.

It's not a good state of affairs :-(

Heather said...

We had similar problems in our previous home. Our house was at the bottom of a short rise and the bin was at the top of the rise. If the weather was particularly cold and icy we couldn't get our car up the slope and out onto the main road which was always clear. Fortunately we don't get much severe weather down here.
With regard to dog poo bins, I sometimes wonder if we are not becoming wet nursed. We should all be responsible dog owners and take the bag home for disposal in our own bins, lifting some of the pressure from the councils' costs. Sadly, that is not likely to happen.

Leilani Schuck Weatherington said...

People could bring the dog poo home and flush it down their toilet, which might make less in the bin.