Sunday, 19 April 2009

Kicking Up A Stink

Local LibDems have been getting vocal about some of the more basic day-to-day issues confronting residents.

Dog owners are regularly and fairly criticised for the irresponsible behaviour of a minority who don't clear up after their pets and Reading LibDems recently raised the subject after they discovered the council had issued only one enforcement notice in the past year, despite it being a regular cause of complaint for residents.

Spokesman Oscar Mortali defended the council against accusations of inaction by explaining the problem of prioritising limited resources.

But the trouble has recently taken on another dimension in Wokingham after the Conservative-dominated authority recently decided to remove 245 bins for the disposal of dog waste across the area in a cost saving move.

It is hoped £60,000 will be be able to be put back into council coffers by the removal of the waste units. However the council has responded to an outcry from residents with the introduction of 50 new litter bins, which they say can cope with ordinary litter and animal excrement.

LibDem councillor, Phil Challis criticised the decision saying it was shortsighted and unnecessary. He explained that it would have been easier, more hygenic and cheaper to reorganise waste collection schedules.

Prue Bray, Winnersh Councillor and LibDem parliamentary spokesperson for Wokingham, has also commented on the episode, raising questions about whether the policy was properly thought through.

Meanwhile in a not altogether unrelated move, public toilets in Wokingham are being closed and members of the public have had access to toilet facilities reduced further.

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Update: Woodley LibDems have criticised the ruling Conservative group over the state of public conveniences, and attacked the tory group for lying about their intentions.

The tories said there is no financial motive for the closure of the toilets and blamed constant vandalism, but the LibDems pointed out that a fund of section 106 money provided for the purpose by a supermarket company has not been used.

Over 600 people have signed a petition to reverse the Conservative decision.

The total has now risen to over 1,000.

Oranjepan says:
It's good that politicians are concerned about public budgets, but there are some kinds of waste which cannot be cut.

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