Sunday, June 22, 2008

Green Garden Waste 4 - LibDem Joins Our Call

A senior LibDem councillor has broken party ranks and attacked the Council for wasting money on waste collection. Paddy Kane, chairman of the scrutiny committee that investigates waste collection services was moved to contact the local newspapers when he discovered that a 40-tonne dustcart (similar to the Sutton vehicle in the picture) had been sent on a 12-mile round trip to collect a single green garden waste bag, branding the move as 'absolutely frivoulous'.

Cllr Cliff Carter called the Council last Saturday to inform them of a resident who had paid the unpopular £35 green garden waste charge and whose bag had not been collected from the front of her house. The Council had promised on two occasions to collect the bag but did not until Cliff's intervention.

Instead of using one of the Waste Management Service small vans that are often seen driving around the borough, a massive truck was driven to the resident's house in Aultone Way from the depot in Beddington Lane despite the fact that the dump in Kimpton Road is only eight minutes away. Cliff told the Advertiser "If you pay for a service you expect to get results, but there's no reason at all why they should send out a large lorry."

The LibDems are split on their view on the unpopular £35 charge with some favouring a lower £10 charge and others supporting our position for a reversal of the decision. I'm pleased that Cllr Kane has put his head above the parapet in attacking the endemic waste of his party's administration saying "This is gross misuse of council resources. Sending a 40-tonne truck for one bag of garden waste is not environmentally friendly. It's absolutely frivoulous." I hope that this is the first of many interventions from the committee which looks at value for money in waste management, transport, planning, roads, parks, libraries and sport. I'm sure that if he continues to scratch the surface, he will find plenty more examples.

35 comments:

anti-£35 charge liberal democrat said...

Paul,
Paddy's mouth and grey cells yet again seem to be out of kilter. He works hard but sometimes he gets it wrong.
As a sitting Liberal Democrat Councillor I don't agree with your politics but you should be commended for dragging your party out of the Victorian period.
The £35 charge does not represent the bulk of the views in my party and some of us are working quite hard to reverse this. I know longstanding members who have returned their membership cards because of this. I nearly considered it myself.
Your group should also be commended for supporting our initiative overall because Sutton really is a green borough and regardless of the colour of our parties. But remember if you mix yellow and blue you get green!
Yours,
Anonymous Liberal Democrat Council Member

Cllr David Theobald said...

What was the nett cost of sending the 40 tonner out to collect one bag?

Scully said...

David T.

No idea but I don't suppose it's cheap.

Cllr David Theobald said...

Seems a bit like cracking a walnut with a sledgehammer!

All those diesel fumes as well!

scott nugent said...

more like an a-bomb to open a jam jar!!
cliff isright to say that if you pay for a service u should get results, so i can see both sides of the arguments here. i pay through the nose with my council taxes,so this 40 ton truck is a bit of a slap in the face as it only picked up one bag.

i see loads of small vans with the Sutton council logo nipping round my area, why couldnt they just have sent one of those out? seems stupid to me

this scheme should never have gotoff the ground.

scotty

Sean Ludlow-Harris said...

Councillors Kane and Carter are quite right to criticise the ridiculous expense of sending a 40 tonne truck to collect one bag of garden rubbish.

According to a Sutton Council webpage Councillor Paddy Kane is the Chairman of a Scrutiny Committee on the Council. I agree with you Councillor Scully that he should use this position to subject this absurd decision to scrutiny.

There is no reason a whole lorry should be sent to retrieve one bag, they have many smaller vehicles undoubtedly, why could they not use those? And how many men manned this massive vehicle?

This illustrates yet another preposterous waste of our money.

RFK said...

anti- £35 charge lib dem,

I appreciate the amicable nature of your posts so far. However, I just wanted to raise one aspect of your posts with you.

I find it difficult to sympathise with your comment that 'The £35 charge does not represent the bulk of the views in (the lib dems) and some of us are working quite hard to reverse this'. If there are so many Lib Dem Councillors against it, why is it still going ahead? I, like many local residents, find it frustrating that the Lib Dems try to make out any problems are not really their fault. Notorious examples include the £500,000 bus stop, the totem poles, the Council tax rises etc!

If there are that many lib dems against it, who is pushing it through? Let's have some honest, hands up politics, and if the majority are really against then the Lib Dem Council should listen to people like Paul, who are really speaking for the public and trying to turn this farce around.

On a lighter note, I agree, Paul has done a great job.

cllr david pickles said...

Paul - Oh Dear! I don't quite think your header is telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth!

Have you seen the headline in the SUTTON POST today?

It appears that Cllr Paddy Kane, far from being on your side "joining your call" has in fact castigated Cllr Carter for wasting public money on "ordering a 40-tonne lorry" (I ordered this - Cllr Carter own words) to be sent.

Now I know, having been a City wallah for the best part of 30 years that there are lies, damn lies and statistics, and figures, damn figures and the truth - but I think it's stretching the bounds of credibility a bit far to insist that Kane has joined your call.

The SUTTON POST has done the Tories cause no good at all I'm afraid, as much as I agree with you that the new waste and recycling proposals are a disaster. Best to do your research before you start crowing.

RFK said...

David,

Your following statement grabbed my attention:

'It appears that Cllr Paddy Kane, far from being on your side "joining your call" has in fact castigated Cllr Carter for wasting public money on "ordering a 40-tonne lorry" (I ordered this - Cllr Carter own words) to be sent.'

I am interested to know if Cllr Carter demanded the 'truck' to be sent out for a single piece of waste, or whether he simply asked the Council to fetch the waste? If it is the latter, then it is yet another example of the Council being ridiculous. A single car could fetch a single bag and it should have been collected in the first place.

Secondly, I think it would be fair play to ask Paul in what way Cllr Kane joined his call. If Cllr Kane has flip-flopped (as I'm sure you will agree many Lib Dems are accustomed to), then it really is a bit much to attack Paul over it!

cllr david pickles said...

rfk - the SUTTON POST article quite clearly stated that Cllr Carter "ordered" that the bag be collected, and he was informed that a lorry might come. "THIS WAS IGNORED" according to the POST and KANE.

Now is Paul wants to make political capital out of this all well and good, but the headline on this thread states "LIB-DEM JOINS OUR CALL".

I don't think it can be any clearer than that.

Inspector Monkfish said...

I am reminded of the sketch from the fast show.
Cllr David Pickles....Eco warrior

Scully said...

David

It's in the newspaper so it must be right. Yet you castigate my standards of research!

As Cliff explained, if you pay for a service then you should get it. By introducing a charge,the Council have changed the nature of waste collection, entering into a contract. Why would he insist that a 40-tonne truck be used? There are plenty of small escort-style vans in the fleet. Tim Crowley got 9 bags of a resident's waste in his car.

At the Scrutiny and Overview meeting on Tuesday, Paddy asked why a large truck was sent. We will be asking this to be the subject of a formal scrutiny investigation as it further undermines the environmental and financial credibility of the unpopular green garden waste charge.

cllr david pickles said...

Paul - yes indedd the green garden waste charge is deeply unpopular. I have had many residents complaining to me about it.

The point I am making which is Paddy Kane quoted in the post saying ".......the depot supervisor advised Cllr Carter the truck was not suitable for a single collection - and this was ignored".

Surely the collection could have waited until a small van was available?

Scully said...

David

It could and should have been collected by a small van or even a car. You know how this works. When was the last time that a Council officer immediately dropped what they were doing to rush off and deal with something like this. It is up to the officer in the depot to co-ordinate his fleet. Councillors simply do not have that sort of power. If the 40-tonne truck was already out on a job, then there maybe a case to use it. Was the depot totally bare of vehicles with the sole exception of a dustcart? How long after the call was the collection made? When would an alternative vehicle been available? These are obvious questions that need answering rather than charging Cliff Carter with the ability to dictate fleet policy to the Borough. I'm afraid Paddy Kane is doing what he does, playing the man not the ball. Whilst we talk about a story that Paddy Kane has spelled out to a jounalist, Colin Hall can venture out of his darkened room for a few moments. It is a distraction from the more fundamental issue.

The other question that needs an urgent answer is how many other bags are being missed. One of the features of the new service is that the cabs have a database with all of the service users. This is supposed to avoid the need to go up and down every road. If many bags are being missed, the environmental impact will negate any benefit.

cllr david pickles said...

Well, sorry Paul - it looks like Cliff has been found out. The Sutton Guardian are also covering the story, and the last sentence reads "A Sutton council spokesman confirmed that Cllr Carter had ordered the lorry to collect the bag".

Now how much plainer is that?

Scully said...

Cllr Carter asked for the rubbish to be collected. The resident had paid for a service which the council had failed to deliver. It is the Council to decide how that is rectified. Cliff didn't go to Beddington Lane, browse the vehicle pool and say "Ooh that's big, I'll have that one."

You keep worrying about Cliff whilst we ask the difficult questions of the Council.

Queen of Cheam said...

paul i found this ditty so funny i had to bring it here. i hope you dont mind someone telling the truth on your blog- not against the rules is it? LOL

THE OLD MAN PHONED THE DUSTMEN
(by S.Watch)
to be sung to the tune of
MY OLD MAN'S A DUSTMAN
(by Buchanan / Donegan / Thorne)
Lonnie Donegan - 1960

Now here's a little story
To tell it is a must
About an unsung hero
That helped move away your dust.

Sutton Council wastes a fortune,
Whilst Shields & Scully make a mint;
Old man Carter he doesn't earn that much:
next to those two fat cats he's skint!

Though the old man phoned the dustmen,
He's got an 'eart of gold,
He became a Councillor two years back,
Though he was eighty-six years old.
We all said "'Ere, hang on, Cliff,
You're getting past your prime";
He said "Well, when you get to my age,
It helps to pass the time."

The Sutton Tories they went canvassing,
around the ward of Sutton North,
Cliff shuffled along Aultone Way,
Knocking on every door and porch.
Councillor Carter he did beg for votes,
for supporters he did fish,
He thought "I need some free publicity",
...and soon he'd get his wish!

For one day whilst in a hurry,
A dustman missed a lady's bin:
He hadn't gone but a few yards,
When Cliff chased after him.
"What game do you think you're playing?"
Cliff cried right from the 'eart,
"I will be forced to phone your guv'nor,
And demand a 40-tonne cart!"

Oh, the old man rang the dustmen,
Cliff was in no mood for barter,
The dustmen thought "Who is this mad old sod?",
it was of course COUNCILLOR CARTER!
"Come collect this garden waste" said Cliff,
"I'll not wait 'til the smaller van gets back",
he ignored the dustmen's protestations,
and threatened them with the sack!
So off drove this enormous truck with great big rubber boots,
All that waste, just one pick up,
and a bag full o' daisy roots!

The Tory leader sought damage limitation,
So Scully jumped to Cliff's defence,
That despotic Tory leader,
Must believe that we're all dense!
"Cliff didn't know about the size of the truck"
Scully began to wail,
He's long since shredded all the evidence,
About this Kimpton Rubbish Dump tale!

Oh, the old man phoned the dustmen,
And now he looks a prat,
'cos the Sutton Tory carbon footprint,
Is the size of Mount Ararat.
So the next time you spot Councillor Carter,
He looks just like your grandad,
He'll be ask you for your vote next time,
So tell him "Cliff, you must be MAD!"

Hand of History said...

Hmm, let's see...

It doesn't rhyme, it doesn't scan and it's not funny.

Hope you didn't spend too long composing it, because if you did I think you should find a better use of your time!

anti-£35 charge liberal democrat said...

Paul,
I can confirm that Paddy has been on the end of a telling off as a result of this.
Paddy has effectively criticised us as the majority group and Cliff has come out looking better for it, he was fighting for his residents & especially given the controversial charge it makes us look silly as a council.
Quite a few of us are hacked off at Paddy for shooting his mouth off. Normally he's a little cuter than this.
Yours,
Anonymous Liberal Democrat Council Member
P.S. that rhyme isn't exactly brilliant is it?

Scullduggery Watch said...

Ha ha ha ha!

Run that by us again, please?

"Cliff has come out looking better for it"

FAO: Conservative Councillor Tim Crowley (aka Aardvark, aka Anti-£35 Charge Liberal Democrat):

If you can call two negative articles in both local newspapers plus Carter's mugshot on the Sutton Post's front page (complete with caption "Cllr Cliff Carter ordered garden waste to be collected by a dust cart traveling 12 miles") then I would hate to see what would constitute bad news in your book!

Far from Paddy Kane being slapped down by his own side I bet Brennan & Co. have patted him on the back and taken him out for a few celebratory beers instead.

A poor attempt at putting a positive spin on a public relations disaster there, Tim. Alistair Campbell you most definitely are NOT!

anti-£35 charge liberal democrat said...

Uhm,
what the flip is ths guy talking about?
Anonymous And Baffled

Cllr Tim Crowley said...

Scullduggery watch or whoever you are,i am glad that i am not Alistair Campbell.
Leave Cliff alone or perhaps picking on a septegenarian is what floats your boat.

Scullduggery Watch said...

Weren't you afraid of confronting the 5 foot tall Eleanor Pinfold when you had a difference of opinion, Tim?

Your fear of such 'Amazonian women' who possess such a powerful presence and towering stature is well documented, Councillor Crowley.

Perhaps you should continue posting in person rather than reverting to Aardvark et al.

p.s. If Cliff is all of a sudden so very susceptible to constructive criticism then what on earth is he still doing in politics? Or is your impassioned defence a sly admission that Councillor Carter's actions during the "Kimptongate" scandal were more akin to that of an insane person?

Anonymous said...

jeeps darren, 'powerful presence and towering stature'..get a room

RFK said...

Paul,

I would be grateful if you would remove Scullduggerywatch and Queen of Cheam's posts (they are both the same person). As I find them ageist, discriminatory and unbefitting of any discussion.

David,

I'm afraid I find it hard to believe Cliff asked for the truck to be sent out. I will ask him about this next time I see him out in Sutton North. I do not doubt he told the Council in no uncertain terms to get their act together. I knwo you woudl not begrudge him that.

cllr david pickles said...

rfk - no I would not. You are right. In fact I would have been as belligerent about it towards the council as Cliff has appeared to be. The only difference is, that according to Pardraig O'Kane as quoted in the press, the supervisor at Kimpton warned Cllr Carter that the lorry would not be suitable for a one bag collection and that was ignored. Perhaps Cliff should have thought of that and waited until the following Monday when a small van could have picked up the offending bag.

RFK said...

David,

I'll have a read of the article (when my Guardian finally gets delivered). The sad thing is, this just becomes a great way for the Lib Dems to detract from the original issue.

At the heart of all this, Cliff was just trying to get his constituents a service that they pay for. It's clear that the Council workers are upset when they are told to do their job properly, and decide to spin a story about Cliff to the Lib Dems as revenge.

RFK said...

ps - does anyone know if the waste collection is sub-contracted out like in some other Boroughs?

Aardvark said...

So David you believe Paddy Kanes version of events over and above Cliff Carters.
Who is the ex-con with a criminal record who jumped ship just to guarantee an allowance?I dont think it was Cliff.

Scully said...

RFK,

I agree with your assessment of the posts, but they will remain.

They reflect more on Darren who with a few more votes might have been the person that would have had to represent that person in Aultone Way and now as far as I know may live his life elsewhere in South London paying no Council Tax to any Borough let alone Sutton.

So we have someone tapping away in a library or suchlike in South London, a LibDem councillor who has failed to identify a single pound wasted by the administration and a UKIP councillor attacking a councillor for expecting a service to be delivered to his constituent. Yet none of the three seem to be concerned that:-

either
1. a single backbench councillor can dictate transport logistics to a council which has a set policy and value for money strategy.
2. the Council sent a vehicle that was already working and a LibDem councillor stirred up a story against his political opponent.
3. the Council did not manage their fleet effectively, thus needing a 40-tonne truck to do the job of a car. We know that they have only one gully cleaner. We know that they rent dustcarts.

Most people will not be interested in the personalities involved. David's only source is the press which has been fed the story by Paddy Kane. Neither Paddy nor David will bother asking the Council how much this episode cost or why a more suitable vehicle was not sent. Instead they will involve themselves in internal wrangling that 99% of the Sutton population will not understand or care about as they have still picked up the bill regardless.

Scullduggery Watch said...

"..and now as far as I know.."

The above proving just how very little Scully really does know! What he fails to grasp is that neither he nor Shields are entitled to every last penny that drops into either Sutton's or any other Council's coffers. If such a fact aggravates him then he really needs to get over it pronto. He really shouldn't let his already generous Councillor allowance rankle him too much.

I also laughed out loud at the insistence of RFK that both mine and Queeny's posts be deleted on the grounds that he wishes to be the Sutton Conservatives' answer to Joseph Goebbels! When exactly did Benhill Avenue begin to employ it's own Minister of Propaganda?

It is also hysterically funny that poor old Scully has been harassed into not imposing moderation on his blog (for the forth time) in spite of RFK's demented pleas to turn this thread into even more of a monologue than it was before!

Dearest Paul,

You cannot label everyone who disagrees with you as being a Scullduggery Watch clone, you silly little man!

The crux of the matter is that one of your Councillors had a hissy fit and made a complete balls-up of what should have been a very easy fix. You should at least be man enough to admit this fact, rather than try to blame shift the entire episode on the Lib Dem run Council who should of course have collected the offending bag of grass cuttings in the first place.

Councillor Carter was told that only a 40-tonne wagon was available but he in his infinite wisdom ordered it to be sent to collect a single 1kg bag. He could have waited less than 24 hours for a small van to make the collection but he insisted that an enormous dustcart be sent instead. It was a bad call on his part. End of story.

Also, if the vehicle was already working then why are you concerned that the taxpayers picked up the bill, Paul? You seem to have contradicted yourself again there, not for the first time I might add.

"David's only source is the press which has been fed the story by Paddy Kane."

I am also sure that the local newspaper journalists will be thrilled to read this thread and discover that you have essentially accused them of broadcasting a load of lies that were peddled to them by Paddy Kane. You weren't hoping to receive Christmas cards from their Editors this year were you, Paul?

Scully said...

Darren

If your argument is so strong, why resort to name-calling? Again, you have failed to address the question as to how you feel Cllr Carter has the power to dictate operational matters to this extent. This just simply is not practical. It is not his decision to wait or otherwise.

I raise the issue of the truck already working as this is what I told happened by a senior council officer. If this is the case then fine, there is less of an issue and so there is no story.

Your last paragraph is irrelevant. The Advertiser covered the story from the angle that the council wasted money by sending a truck whereas the Guardian focussed on an argument between two councillors. There are two sources that the newspapers can use to check the facts, Cliff Carter and the Council communications department. They both did this. You seem to have used one, Paddy Kane.

It is a shame that you return to commenting on this blog only when your previous running mate is in the news. Why don't you stick to the issues and the points of debate rather than the mudslinging? Then we can acheive something. Instead you want to attack personalities, cause rifts and correct some perceived slight and in doing so guaranteeing another four years of LibDem rule. We have seen what this would mean with the unpopular £35 garden waste charge and their proposals for a stealth tax on parking. They are not satisfied with their lot, instead hitting residents in their pocket to affect "behavioural change."

Scullduggery Watch said...

Paul

Congratulations on having the sheer audacity to write such a post!

Before you attempt a vain bid to claim the moral high ground I would suggest that you cast more than a cursory glance over your own offerings from the last few months and tot up the number of personal attacks that you have made against your rivals.

Now I must take issue with yet another of your fanciful assertions:

"The Advertiser covered the story from the angle that the council wasted money by sending a truck whereas the Guardian focussed on an argument between two councillors. There are two sources that the newspapers can use to check the facts, Cliff Carter and the Council communications department. They both did this. You seem to have used one, Paddy Kane."

Really, Paul?

I was merely quoting the Sutton Guardian who had this to say about Councillor Cliff Carter's role in the affair:

"A SUTTON COUNCIL SPOKESMAN CONFIRMED COUNCILLOR CARTER HAD REQUESTED FOR THE LORRY COLLECT THE BAG."

I am sure you will agree that the Guardian's quote does appear to confirm that Councillor Carter DID specifically request for that particular vehicle to make a solitary collection.

Now which source are you claiming that the Sutton Guardian were quoting from when they wrote that?

Are you insinuating that any publication which does not subscribe to your own version of events is in fact lying?

Or are you saying that a local newspaper not agreeing with Paul Scully's own brand of propaganda must be guilty of not having investigated the garden waste collection story fully?

Jo Kerr said...

Is that a genuine Sutton council vehicle in the photograph tipping both brown bin and green bin waste into the same compactor?

Scully said...

Jo

The photo was taken in Lavender Vale, Wallington back in 2005. A little while ago admittedly but at the time that the LibDems were crowing about how they were the best recyclers in London. (Also, it's the only photo that I've got since I'm not in the habit of chasing rubbish trucks around.) At the time, Sutton's recycling percentage was artificially inflated by around 9% by the inclusion of garden waste. The unpopular £35 charge has come straight after a change in the rules that excludes garden waste.