Your Letters – Friday May 25, 2018

Letter of the Week: R Spreadbury, Liversedge

Here are some ideas to address waste disposal, fly-tipping and littering which seem to be blighting our area.

1: Make all waste disposal free.

Commercial waste generators pay for disposal by a ringfenced business/council tax levy. 

This levy is based on estimated or verified quantities.

2: A KAL-style charity company is set up for litter collection hot spots.

This to be manned by men with vans and a community service, ASBO or similar helper.

These highly-mobile autonomous units, can be directed to littering hot spots, overflowing bins, dumped stuff, etc by a simple online reporting tool.

All to be manned by either 

volunteers, sponsored by local business, contribution by the council or a combination of all these.

With minimal management involvement this can start with just a couple of vans and see what inroads it makes. 

The clean-up has to be a long term, multi-faceted strategy.

Over time a map can be developed showing problem areas, which can then be targeted by advertising campaigns, extra resources, etc. Clean streets encourage clean streets.

3: The council to take back control of household waste disposal sites from the private companies who now run them and increasingly restrict what can be accepted. 

The latter is just plain short-ighted stupidity, based I suspect on highly-adept commercial firms exploiting badly drawn-up contracts to maximise profits, regardless of environmental impact. 

The waste disposal sites accept anything from whoever. This stops the one-man-band brigade of renovators, gardeners, house clearers, etc, fly tipping.

4: Convert a gully sucker into a big macerating vacuum cleaner. 

This can then be used to clear up hot spot road verges. It also acts as a rolling road block so ensuring the safety of operatives without the need for traffic control.

5: A comprehensive school education programme, including visits from the council waste disposal team etc.

Once the kids are enthused about their local environment, and see they can do something about it, then turning their attention to issues in the wider world is not such a big step.

6: Remove all bins from lay-bys and replace with signage saying ‘Please take your litter home. Thanks.’

Adding ‘CCTV monitored’ may be counter-productive, because it is seen as a threat or a challenge by some, whilst the aim is to instil / encourage community responsibility. 

7: Advertise all the above, in as many languages as necessary, whenever a council communication is sent out.

Some of you have already signed my petition, many thanks to the  244. Somewhat disappointed though, I did think there would be a lot more judging by all the comments in the local press.

I have assumed the lack of support is because it may have appeared as just another moaning petition with no real aims. 

If so, I hope the above addresses this. I hope it is not just because most people don’t really care.

If you have not signed already, you can do so with this shorthand link. Just copy this into your browser:

I think we need to get 1000+ to get noticed, and we can effectively start a lobbying campaign to MPs and councillors. 

However Labour MPs trying to influence a Labour council is probably not going to happen.

Three thousand signatures for a full cabinet debate on the matter is a forlorn hope.

A word to the to Ken critics

From: John Appleyard, Liversedge

Ken Livingstone, like me, came into the Labour and trade union movement in 1968.

Like me he is from a working class background, like me he will have been taught to have respect for his elders, something his critics lack.

I haven’t always agreed with Livingstone but I’m disappointed he has been forced to resign from the Labour Party for his track record is by and large excellent.

He supported a peace agreement for Northern Ireland many years before it became fashionable, as was his constant anti-racist stance, support for local government, promotion of women, gay rights, ethnic minorities and the disabled and as Mayor of London he did much to bring the Olympic Games to London in 2012.

The words of my late MP Jo Cox are often quoted: “We have far more in common with each other than that which divides us”. His critics should heed those words – the Labour movement is and always has been a broad church with no individuals having a monopoly of ideas, sadly there are some who set a miserable example of the current fashion for replacing news and rational comment with abuse and prejudice.

Two fine gents

From: LR Hirst, Northorpe

In 1940 Dewsbury Council employed two gentlemen, one in charge of cleansing called Mr L Barham and the other, a Mr E Stynes in charge of sanitation. 

During the war Mr Barham decided to recycle waste paper, metal and old rags to help the war effort – he recycled long before it was ever thought of elsewhere. He bought an old hay baler for the paper and rags and a crusher for the metal.

The paper was sold to the paper mills and the rags to shoddy merchants.

Scrap merchants bought the steel and iron and the money received helped to keep council tax low, or rates as we knew it then.

Mr Stynes recycled sewage into compost for gardens, and many hundreds of tons were sold before some members of the public complained it smelt before it was dug into the soil.

The council, in its wisdom, had production stopped and lost thousands of pounds.

Just a story about two fine men who thought about their town and the job they did, not like Kirklees staff when it’s time to go home.

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