Tag: Wiltshire

Speaking rubbish about rubbish

It seems that the ability to think logically departs councillors whenever they have to talk about recycling. This time, it is the turn of Mr Barnett to join the stiff competition for the recycled wooden spoon.

We have had problems with the bins overflowing as the company who collect the rubbish are in Gloucester.

Well, if that’s a problem, it doesn’t bode well for the citizens of North Wiltshire, now that the county council has won its bid for unitary status: Wiltshire County Council is based in Trowbridge, which is just as far from parts of North Wilts as Gloucester is from Swindon. And by Mr Barnett’s logic, waste collection in the Scottish Highlands must be virtually impossible.

A fine cream tea

Having spent much of yesterday walking along the Kennet & Avon Canal, may I commend The Mad Hatter Tearooms at Avoncliff for a most delicious cream tea. All the better for a mistake in their taking my order which lead to it being free. Quite how one can misinterpret ‘A ham, cheese and pineapple hot baguette please.’ (also delicious) for ‘Two cream teas and a ham, cheese and pineapple hot baguette please.’ I am still pondering. The Cross Guns pub just across the way may be better known and have a better range of beers, but the quality of its food and service — of the ‘lets fleece the tourists for all we can get’ type with hurriedly prepared food on paper plates and plastic cutlery — are distinctly second rate. By comparison, at The Mad Hatter china crockery and steel cutlery are the norm and, even on a busy sunny bank holiday weekend, time was taken (tho’ not excessively) over the preparation of the food. The Black Rat Cider was quite good too.

Feeding on ignorance

I see that Toby Sturgis, cabinet member for planning and waste on Wiltshire County Council has a rather poor understanding (i.e. virtually none) of the science on which some of the decisions within his remit are should be made. On the council’s trial of food digesting bins, he is reported to have said

It’s not sustainable to keep on burying this rubbish in the ground. It is expensive and it produces green house gases

Err… so what do these food digesting bins produce? To quote from the Wiltshire Waste Partnership’s website, describing one of the two designs of food digesting bin being offered.

The patented design ensures the total breakdown of all food waste into its natural components of water and carbon dioxide, thus producing minimal residue.

Ah, good old CO2, one of the main green house gases.

Drawing a line

It looks like we are in for an old-fashioned boundary dispute between Swindon and Wiltshire councils. Expect lots of petty politics, with each side saying what a disaster it would be if the other council’s proposition came to pass. In response to Wiltshire’s bid for unitary status, Swindon proposes an expansion of its territory into North Wiltshire, to accommodate the government’s proposed growth plans for the town. There has already been much petty squabbling between county and district councils with associated waste of council-tax-payers’ money (note in particular the opposing conclusions drawn from one MORI survey). We can expect much more.

There is one thing that puzzles me in Councillor Bluh’s comments though.

There are no certain plans to expand into any specific areas at this stage, but obviously it would not be possible to expand to the east because of the boundary with Oxfordshire.

Why is Oxfordshire being treated with such deference? It’s not that long ago (1974) that the Vale of White Horse was part of Berkshire (which itself disappeared as a council in 1998 when its districts gained unitary status), so the boundary can hardly be described as sacrosanct.

Update: Well that was a big fuss about nothing. The proposal got a unanimous ‘no’ at Monday’s council meeting. That’s a rather quick about-turn from Mr Bluh.

Fly the flag

According to some, the new Wiltshire flag (which will be flying from County Hall from tomorrow) is

a bizarre mix of psychedelic green with a big bird in the middle

Green with a big bird in the middle’…. Nowt wrong with that in my opinion.