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.