Good use of council tax? | AccountingWEB

Good use of council tax?

We have been watching some council workers in fascination!

Over the past few months the area around our office has been undergoing 'regeneration'! They have widened a part of the road (well, they made a start and then stopped!), removed all the grass from the leisure areas, cut down beautiful cherry trees (the roots were dangerous although they were about 40ft from the nearest building). After a gap of a few months to allow the weeds to grow to maximum they are back (like the terminator!). The weeds have been scraped off by a JCB, topsoil removed into a heap, new topsoil piled up in another heap, and since this morning there have been 4 workers 'working' one patch of ground around 5' wide by 25' long.

First thing this morning (about 9:30am) they trimmed all the bushes nicely. Then the digger came and pulled the bushes out. Then the workers raked and levelled the ground (we thought maybe they were going to turf it). Now, the workers have started manually digging out the top soil!!! When I say digging ... I mean half a shovel into the barrow, stop for a chat, put another half a shovel of dirt into the barrow, have another chat, etc. etc. etc. And lets not forget teabreaks every 1/2 hour, and long lunch breaks, and they generally finish between 2pm and 3pm. Yesterday ..... they worked till 4pm!!!!!! They need to be careful!

And then there are the 'foremen', two of them, who do absolutely nothing, except stand watching and chat to people.

What a waste of money!

thisistibi's picture

Nice rant

thisistibi | | Permalink

I think a lot of council workers get a pretty easy life and a very secure job (at least, until now).  It's a tricky balance, as I kind of appreciate that extra government jobs = less unemployment and therefore less crime also.  So even if they do bugger all, it's still an overall positive to some extent, so long as it's not overplayed like it has been in the recent Labour years.

I love the guys who mow the grass verges here in Sussex.  What do they do in winter?  And what do the grit spreaders do in summer?  Are they the same people?  If so, it explains the way grit lorries drive.

ShirleyM's picture


ShirleyM | | Permalink

We see lots of wasted police time too, as they tend to lie in wait near us, to pull in wagons and test them for red diesel. This of course needs about 12 coppers and the customs men, too, and as they only seem to pull in one wagon every half hour they mostly stand around doing nothing.

We also see the occasional emergency type training where we have dozens of divers, police, ambulance, fire engines, and 100's of people (who seem to be very busy sauntering up and down the road), to make sure they know exactly what to do if someone should fall (or get pushed) in the river.

OK - rant over - thank you for your patience and tolerance  ;)

Don't even get me started on our binmen...

Flash Gordon | | Permalink

One set picks up the rubbish, the other pick up the recycling. Fine but... if you don't have a green bag for your garden waste (I don't - normally go to the tip and will get a wheelie bin when they bring them in next April as the green bags hold bugger all and it gets blown out and they're damn near impossible to get hold of) and you put it out in black bags for the normal collection they won't take it. But equally the recycling ones won't take it either. Oh and they'll rip the bags open before they leave them so the contents get soaked and fall out. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. And did I mention that if they drop rubbish or recycling on the ground they just leave it........

It would be easier if we didn't pay council tax and just did everything ourselves................

Spartacus's picture

Is it really green, or is it really just a load of rubbish.

Spartacus | | Permalink

Is recycling really "green".

Once we used to have one lorry come once a week and pick up everything.  Now we have one lorry come one week, and 4 the next week, all picking up different bins. Then of course the recycling has to be carted to Lord knows where to be processed and the fuel used to generate the heat needed to melt down all tha recycled plastic, metals etc.

And of course with 4 lorries instead of one, that means 4 crews driving to work, etc too.

I'm not convinced that if it was really thought through the balance sheet would be on the green side.


certainly not green in my neck of the woods

accountright | | Permalink


Bins are collected alternate weeks - general rubbish one week, recycled and garden waste the next.  But!  we have two trucks each week - one to open the bin store and put the bins out, the other to collect it.  It's supposed to be efficient - save time, therefore save costs!  It does make you wonder what numpty came up with that one

ShirleyM's picture

It's good exercise

ShirleyM | | Permalink

When we have to run after the bin men to tell them they missed ours ;)

thisistibi's picture


thisistibi | | Permalink

You guys really suffer with your bin collections.  Where I live, we get given a blue recycling wheelie bin and a black landfill bin.  They get collected on alternate weeks.  They are very reliable except in snow.  But - you have to put the bin on the street (or at least, easily accessed from the street) or they won't collect it.  Frankly that's a hardship I can live with..... overall I am very pleased with the service and I think it's pretty efficient.

Old Greying Accountant's picture

Hats off to Spelthorne Council

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

Rubbish and Re-cycling alternate weeks, some times have an extra day to wait for bank holidays, thoroughly good bunch.

Garden waste weekly, but that costs (I don't use it but I think @ £40pa)

(and free poop bags in the parks :o) )

And a lovely lady surveyor in building control who signed off our extension last week xxx

weaversmiths's picture

Bins etc    1 thanks

weaversmiths | | Permalink

The bin collections are wonderful if you live in a property with a front garden, no steps and a side entrance - we are very satisfied(;-); but those without a side entrance, multiple dwellings, seafront properties with no garden at all etc etc make the place look a hideous slum especially when the seagulls and foxes have been at the rubbish and its blowing around the seafront. Unfortunately one size does not fit all.

As for council workmen etc, why do we let them get away with it?  Road workers are the worst - we travel from the South to the North 2 or 3 times a year on business (towing the caravan) and to relieve the monotony of sitting in continual traffic jams I count the percentage of actual  workers in road crews and have been known to hurl remarks like "get on with your work" whilst crawling past, especially when we are being held back by their pacemaker at 10 miles ph (for the road workers safety).  The only danger they could possibly be in is from an irate motorist who has had enough.  A bit of rain or snow and they are nowhere to be seen - are there no real men in this country anymore, except for volunteers like coastguards, lifeboatmen, firemen etc who take no account of the weather? .   When I pop my clogs and am reincarnated I want to be a road worker, good money, tax paid and shiny yellow padded jacket and trousers. (:-).


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