Letters, August 20: dustbin policy is rubbish
Package deal would tackle bin question
I listened with interest to reports of government minister Eric Pickles' war on wheelie bins, and his desire to end the scourge of our bin-blighted streets.
While I fully endorse the sentiment, it is a bit rich, and a bit late. Some forward thinking from those we pay to provide services on our behalf, if not at our request, would have seen this problem coming long ago. I did.
At a local level I have for years questioned the wisdom of granting planning permission for the construction of little boxes with no storage space at all for the rubbish we are increasingly required to store in our own homes, in a wide variety of ugly bins, boxes and bags; until such time as they are collected, at different times on different days. Remembering the waste and recycling collection rota, along with bank holidays, is almost as bad as trying to remember which child does which after-school activity on which day in which place.
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Whatever our views on Europe, what we seem not to be able to do is to learn anything from those that are in it with us. There are many countries on the continent where they simply have a skip at the end of each road, where residents can dispose of their rubbish daily, for a swift daily collection; no unsightly roadside bins and no lorries blocking the roads.
I bitterly resent the comments about the waste that "we" generate. In many cases it is not us, the tax paying consumers, that generate the waste, it is the manufacturers and the supermarkets that generate it, while we, having paid for it, are then penalised for trying to dispose of it.
What we must do is insist that the supermarkets, where most people do their shopping, install Argos-like counters where on doing the weekly shop you take back your empties and get a discount on the next shop. Pressure must also be put on the packaging industry to reduce the amount of packaging used for their goods – increasingly used to make ever smaller sized products look like they are still worth buying.
I've said before, as I live in a flat and do not lead a Monday to Friday nine-to-five life, disposing of rubbish remains an issue for me, which I largely overcome by removing the packaging before I leave the store. I don't want it, didn't ask for it, so let them deal with it.
I'm old enough to remember the old Corona bottles; many a child supplemented their pocket money by taking them back for a few pence.
Ministers fail to exploit our energy
With reference to the Western Daily Press editorial column of August 17, the fracking question is not necessarily, "To frack or not to frack". It might be when to frack.
The technology for cracking shale to release oil and gas is still experimental, at least in this country. The evidence from America is not reliable. People adversely affected there have been paid compensation, but with clauses ensuring life-long silence. In one case that ban has been applied to a toddler.
David Cameron is going around the country trying to get people to accept fracking in their areas, by offering bribes. That should sound alarm bells.
The All The South Party wants to see fracking surrounded by safeguards. We have the warning of what happened to North Sea oil and gas. Margaret Thatcher sold licences to extract at bargain basement prices to pay for her record levels of unemployment. Norway was more prudent. While our North Sea energy is running out, Norway still has plenty of this valuable resource which will become even more valuable as oil stocks dwindle.
We have a similar situation developing with shale oil and gas. Cameron wants to use it to fill the hole his Chancellor George Osborne has dug, with the economy in a worse state than it was three years ago and youth unemployment being at its highest since 1981. Cameron shows every sign of repeating Thatcher's short sighted sell-off of North Sea oil. All The South wants any extraction held back until we in the South Country (South West, South East and East Anglia) can be guaranteed a fair deal. That applies to shale. It also applies to our oil, which has been pumped from under Dorset for years.
All The South will insist on compensation from central government for the Dorset oil which has already been extracted, and for that which will be taken from the Sussex oil field. Central government cannot be trusted with the nation's natural resources. We need a South Country parliament to fight our corner, as the Welsh have their assembly.
All The South Party