Man the barricades
An interesting spat has broken out in a small corner of West London, one that sheds a rather unflattering light on its residents. It might amuse …or make you cry.
Hounslow Council, after a short trial, told residents of Chiswick that it would be delivering wheelie bins to residents for future use and all black plastic bags would have to fit comfortably (not to overflowing) or they would not be removed.
Wheelie bins, said some residents? Where do you think this is? Acton? First, Poundland opens in the high street and now wheelie bins? Britain is going to the dogs!
I hasten to say I think to slur Acton in this way is indefensible. What, for heaven’s sake is wrong with it? And the Poundland is replacing a McDonald’s…so unsure whether I see much change there.
True, the Council is imposing bins on us, and there seem inadequate checks on whether houses have space in front for them, plus some dispute as to where they need to be placed for pick-up. But they’re not massive, and hopefully it will encourage us to recycle still more. We’re lucky in having a Council that will recycle virtually anything, although worryingly the news about the bins was accompanied by the announcement it was closing certain recycling centres.
Far more worrying, given George Osborne’s autumn statement, are the effects of cuts which are not given the same amount of airtime currently as bins (I know, we are a backwater). Our local hospital is Charing Cross, and when a neighbour visited for an appointment there she was told by the receptionist that the consultant had been made redundant, the department was no longer operating, and to go back to her GP and start again.
There are various aspects here: this was an appointment regarding a severe cancerous condition for which she’s already had surgery; any delay could be serious; she wasn’t the only one being fielded by the receptionist, I’m told it was like Piccadilly Circus; and how can a whole department disappear without anyone being told? How often is this happening up and down the country?
I was told by my GP to make an appointment with Charing Cross or Hammersmith, was given the relevant phone number, and when I called and asked to go to the former was told I couldn’t. When I rocked up at Hammersmith, the lady who saw me said: ‘Why didn’t you go to your local hospital?’ When I told her the background, she replied:’Ah, that makes sense. We seem to be getting a load of their patients.’
So, closure by stealth? If we’re about to man the barricades I know which cause I’d like to promote. Who’s with me?