The stupidity of wheelie bins

PUBLISHED: 11:58 12 January 2007 | UPDATED: 22:30 28 May 2010

WITH reference to last week s article concerning Fenland District Council s proposal to require householders in Nene Parade, March, to have wheelie bins collected from the front of properties, I would like to correct some of the observations made by the c

WITH reference to last week's article concerning Fenland District Council's proposal to require householders in Nene Parade, March, to have wheelie bins collected from the front of properties, I would like to correct some of the observations made by the council spokesman and urge the authority to think again about this proposal.

Firstly, I can confirm that all householders were definitely not consulted on this subject.

My wife telephoned the council on Monday and it seems that the letter or questionnaire it refers to was supposed to have been hand delivered by council staff. I, and all the immediate neighbours I have spoken to, confirm that we did not receive any such letter.

I wonder if it is coincidence that we didn't receive these, given that we live in the part of Nene Parade that is closed to vehicular access except in an emergency.

Maybe the staff concerned didn't fancy having to walk.

The only letter received by us (dated December 4) said the wheeled bins would be delivered during January 2007.

In recent years Fenland Council and the Town Council have made great efforts to promote many aspects of the town and not least the amenity of the riverside walks.

Nene Parade was recently re-surfaced and some parts fitted with new street furniture at great public expense.

This now provides a quiet, level walk alongside the river, with historic properties and pleasant views of the waterside for much of its length. How long will that last once the inevitable damage starts as a refuse lorry, capable of collecting from wheelie bins, starts to traverse the route weekly?

Importantly, it must be remembered why the roadway was closed in the first place. It was closed because of the unstable banks, which collapsed some years ago, threatening properties and the safety of pedestrians.

There are vehicular closure orders in place for good reason. We all accept there will be exceptional need in the case of a fire or similar emergency and contingency arrangements allow for that.

Many residents of the 100 or so properties have been here for several decades. That of course means they are getting on in years and may be less able than others.

More worryingly, many of the properties, being of some considerable age are terraced cottages without side access. This means council officers are asking these occupiers to pull refuse loaded wheelie bins through the living accommodation of their properties to put them out weekly.

The alternative is to leave them at the front permanently so we will have some 300 wheelie bins detracting from the visual amenity that the council has spent much time, effort and money promoting.

I am sure readers will recall coverage of perceived anti-social activities in the area of Nene Parade and extensive correspondence through your letters page during early 2006.

I was one of those who defended the area and said I didn't think there were any greater problems here than anywhere else in the town.

It may seem a little dramatic to state now, but that might change as a result of wheelie bins.

One thing we do suffer in common with elsewhere in the town is the noisy disturbance of groups of people going home from the pubs and clubs late at night and those who roam the area in groups in the evenings and at weekends.

What an irresistible target for drunken revelry the wheelie bins and the river will make. You only have to look at the number of dumped supermarket trolleys along the town quay and other parts of the river to confirm what will happen to the bins.

A couple of years ago, we were all instructed by this council to stop feeding the ducks along the river bank because this was the cause of a rat population explosion.

March residents know only too well the real reason for the rat population increases is the growth in fast food outlets resulting in more and more rubbish being deposited along the streets, particularly Nene Parade and, to a lesser extent, West End and the park.

What does the council propose doing about that?

Fenland Council proposes to provide the wherewithal for an even greater tonnage of waste to be dumped on the riverbank.

I urge the council to reconsider the clear stupidity of this proposal and tell us exactly where the benefits are for all of us.

JOHN ABBOTT, Nene Parade, March

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