Friday, February 27, 2009

RIP Bi-Weekly Bin Collections

Firstly a question. What should I refer to the bin collection system as? I would normally call it the "new bin scheme" but it's now over a year old. However it's also still not working as it should with the Council refusing to tackle the problems that have been apparent with it from almost it's very first week. "The bin scheme the Council couldn't be bothered to fix" is perhaps accurate, but a bit of a mouthful. For now I'll stick with the "new bin scheme" and we'll probably still be calling it that and discussing it's continued failings in another years time.


It appears that the Council have silently backed away from one of the key ideas of the new scheme, bi-weekly collections of black sack rubbish.

Did Greenwich Time tell me this? Well no they didn't, though I'm sure that they soon will once they can come up with some spin as to how it's a good thing for us residents and not a sign of Council ineptitude. Local blogger 853 was the first place I heard about it, and he heard about it from Councillor Nigel Fletcher's blog.

It's actually very nice to see Councillor Fletcher blogging about genuinely local issues. I've commented in the past that Councillor Fletcher seems to have his eye more on Westminster than the people who choose him to represent them. His blog used to be full of "I'm Dave Cameron's mate", "I'm President Obama's mate" or "the national Labour Government sucks" type stories of hardly any relevance to his actual position.

However it's also interesting to note that this stepping up in gear and shift back to local issues happens at the same time that we see David Evennett, the MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, blogging on the News Shopper web site. He's facing an election this year so the blog does look somewhat like an obvious attempt to engage with voters now that he needs their votes. Could there be a move among local tories to try and engage local residents via the internet? Could Councillor Fletcher's suddenly local focus be a part of that?

Anyway, I'm digressing again.

Bi-Weekly bins...

Well if you've read the above links to 853 and Councillor Fletcher's site you'll see that the Council does appear to be reintroducing weekly collections for black sacks.

Now maybe I'm "lucky" but Floyd Road has had those extra weekly collections for months now. Faced with the choice of actually talking to local residents who were having problems or blowing our Council tax on trying to cover up the flaws with the new system the Council choose the latter path.

The black bins also seem to have been another attempt to deal with the issue of blacks sacks being left on the pavements week after week. And once again it was one that involved spending our money rather than admitting there were problems and tackling them.

And now the Council are going to roll out their sticking plaster solution over the whole of Greenwich.

I think that's a great shame. Bi-Weekly collections could have worked and should have worked but the Council lacked the honesty to admit there was a problem and the fortitude to tackle it.

So the black sack issue should now hopefully fade away, covered up with money that I'm sure could be used for better things than hiding the Council's failings.

That leaves the "contaminated bin" problem where residents put the wrong waste in the wrong bin. Once again in Floyd Road the Council have taken the "spend our money" path instead of the "admit there's a problem and fix it" one and we've had yet another extra weekly collection to deal with it.

Numerous homes now have black bins but the problem remains.

The Council's reaction to the black sack issue appears to suggest that the Council just doesn't want to deal with that problem and they will continue to fund those extra collections in order to pretend that everything's rosy.

However we shall see...

Friday, February 13, 2009

If at first you do quite well, lie.

Well the new copy of Greenwich Time is out and once again Greenwich Council is trying to tell us that all is good and wonderful in Greenwich.

They mention the weather and sing the praises of Greenwich Council's response. All things told I was actually reasonably impressed with how well the Council did. I was out and about very early on the Monday of the snow and Woolwich Road was pretty clear and running well. Considering we'd just had the worst snow in 20 years I think that's a good achievement.

So I'd have been quite content to see Greenwich Time praise the Council for keeping the main routes open and clear.

Except Council Leader Chris Roberts just can't help himself, he's in a position to be positive but then he goes and lies.

Now this isn't the first time I've seen our good leader do this. Back when the O2 opened he told thousands of Greenwich residents at the residents' preview that the tickets for the event had sold out in 2 or 3 hours. Except they hadn't. I got mine 3 days after they went on sale, others around me made similar comments.

Chris Roberts couldn't just accept the glory of getting a special residents night at the O2, oh no, he had to big it up even more and lie to us.

Likewise with the gritting. Rather than stating the challenges and resting on his Council's achievements Chris Roberts has to go and be less than frank with the truth.

He apologises that the Council "weren't able to get to some minor roads and residential streets."


Streets in Greenwich are, as I've said before, broken into three priorities. A few are Priority 1, some are then Priority 2 but the majority are Priority 3.

My street, a Priority 2, didn't see a gritter at all during the week of the snow. So therefore presumably the Council never got down to Priority 3's and a number of other 2's were quite probably also not done.

That's borne out by the people I've spoken to, many of whom could list many of the roads in their area that were never gritted. Being more specific the only road's around Floyd Road that I know were done were Woolwich Road and Charlton Church Lane. Despite being on a hill and being a bus route Charlton Church Lane wasn't done until at least after Wednesday morning.

Yet the leader claims that only "some" weren't done.

I guess you could call "most" "some" but at best that's being disingenuous, at worst that's lying.

Now as said I'm not that displeased with how the Council actually did, these were truly extreme conditions. However don't try to lie to me about it in the local propaganda magazine.

The worst of it is that there's no one to really call him out over it. Only a few people read this, the opposition will keep their heads down and the local press won't be bothered.

Edited to add: Catching on my morning reading I've discovered another local blogger is also a bit annoyed about the Council newsletter's take on the gritting.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Councillor Parker on the commuter boats, gritting and the "new" bin scheme

Edited to add: Well I emailed/blogged just a bit too early, the extra collection of contaminated bins happened over lunchtime today. This entry will however remain as it is what I said to the Councillor and it also illustrates what will happen if the Council do just stop the extra collections.

Councillor Gary Parker has responded to my last email with details that also cover a number of other blog postings.

I do just want to take a minute here to point out how good he's being over this. He's willing to enter into a conversation over several issues and I do believe that's a truly good thing. He's also quicker at emailing than I am, his response came in last night, it's only over lunch today that I've been able to reply so I'm the slow link here.

However in the end actions speak louder than words so let's see what happens. I must admit to still being a tad sceptical, after all we're still discussing the problems with the "new" bin scheme over a year after it was introduced and to be frank my street today looks pretty much as bad as it did a year ago.

it's interesting to note that I've received a response about the claims over the Council's Clipper Boats campaign but that the News Shopper seemingly didn't, then again that could be down to them being more than a bit rubbish.

Also something that I didn't say to the Councillor is in answer to his statement that all school closures were advertised on the Council Website on both days. Basically on Wednesday morning at about 9am I checked out the web site and it said nothing. Later on in the day changes were made and something was added. So was there information up there on Monday and Tuesday, that was taken down early on Wednesday morning and then added again Wednesday afternoon? Does anyone remember seeing anything on the web site Monday or Tuesday?

But anyway, here is the Councillor's email and after it comes my reply.

I think you have misinterpreted my previous email ,even though it was a very quick response. I will deal with the issues once I get clarification from officers.

Other points I would make though from your recent posts having read them
though are:

Clipper Commuter Boat service- Greenwich council has supported and provided financial support for the service as did the previous mayor Ken Livingstone. The council leadership did approach the GLA to discuss the issue as I understand it and were only offered meetings with one of the inumerable deputy mayors who subsequently cancelled several appointments. So if the Tories at City Hall find communication difficult that's down to them. They cannot say they were not aware of the issue because they are about to end their subsidy for the service- a decision presumably by the Mayor. The Mayor and the local tories can resolve this easily by confirming their position on this issue- the silence is deafening. But to claim some conspiracy by the council is completely off the mark.

Snow & Gritting & Schools-
Some of the comments on this are totally inaccurate and I would like to point out that there were staff injuries- see below, as a result of carrying out normal & additional duties after struggling to work

I attach an extract from a recent report by the chief executive


2.1. As a result of the severe weather warning for 1st and 2nd February, Greenwich Council's road gritting teams worked continuously from 7.30am Sunday morning (1st February). All priority roads were gritted on Sunday 1st February before and after the heavy snow fall and during Monday 2nd February. Vehicles have covered over 1,000 miles in that time and the Council has used 300 tonnes of grit in the 3 days (1st to 3rd February).

2.2. The road gritting operation has been prioritised using the Winter Plan. Main roads, emergency routes, town centres and keeping areas clear to operate public transport are the key priorities. It has also focussed on bus garages and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital to ensure emergency vehicles can access safely. All roads of high and medium priority have been gritted and were kept open.

2.3. In addition to the gritting of roads, some 230 Cleansweep staff have been diverted to undertaking gritting and cleaning operations on pavements. The priorities are town centres, shop parades, entrances to schools, sheltered blocks and pavements on hills. This is in accord with the Winter Plan.

2.4. The need to prioritise does mean that minor and residential roads may not have been tackled. In addition to focussing staff resources on priority areas as set out in the Winter Plan, it has also been necessary to use our store of grit in a targeted way. The Council maintains a large store of grit but the volume needed has been significantly higher than normal and it is known that the level of demand nationally was high leading to a depletion of suppliers' stocks. By Thursday 5th February the Council held approximately 320 tonnes of grit and received a further delivery of 90 tonnes that day. The Council, therefore, has adequate stocks to last several days, depending on conditions.

2.5. In addition, we have sourced an additional stock of 20 tonnes of 'glass sand' (made from recycled glass) from Days Aggregates on Greenwich Peninsula. We have mixed this with salt to make it available for use on hard surfaces away from the public highway, eg schools, parks, entrances to Council services etc.

3.1. Refuse Collection
As a result of the heavy snowfall, refuse collection services were suspended for Monday 2nd February and Tuesday 3rd February. It was not safe to use refuse collection vehicles on residential and minor roads which were still icy or blocked by snow. A limited refuse service resumed on Wednesday 4th February, prioritising the collection of nappies, black sacks and Euro-bins. That day fourteen members of staff fell and injured themselves and there was one minor traffic accident.

3.2. Schools and Children's Services
a. Schools
The decision to close schools rests with the Head Teacher and the School Governors. All Schools and Children's Centres were closed on Monday. After school clubs were also cancelled on Monday.

Following the severe weather warnings which were issued by the Met Office on Monday afternoon and circulated by the Council to schools, a number of Head Teachers took the decision on Monday night to keep schools closed on Tuesday. This meant they could inform parents well in advance. Further schools took the decision to close on Tuesday morning when they discovered the schools sites were unsafe, and staff could not make it in. There was liaison between Children's Services, Press Office and the Council web team throughout Monday and Tuesday to ensure all school closures were
advertised on the Council Website on both days.

Each Head Teacher/Governing Body will determine how to deal with any staffing issues, eg use of training days.

Other Services

Sufficient staff succeeded in getting to work to ensure that all other services could operate. Libraries, leisure centres and parks were open to the public, funerals and cremations were able to proceed. The pest control service could not operate on 2nd February due to the conditions and the noise team did not operate out of hours on Monday 2nd February. Services
were operating normally from 3rd February.

And this is my reply.....

Thank you again for your very rapid response.

Regarding the Commuter Boats can I just clarify that you are saying that Greenwich Council have contacted the GLA about your campaign in particular? Or have you, as in the Council not you personally, just spoken with them about the issue in general? Furthermore you are saying in particular that at least one of the Deputy Mayors knows about this, and this if the Mayor doesn't then that's not your fault? What about TFL? Have they been spoken to or is there no need for that? I'm aware that I've given space to Councillor Drury's claims that neither the Mayor or TFL know anything about your campaign and would like to make clear what the Council's position actually is.

Thank you for the information about the gritting of roads. I do have a question about the "glass sand", what is classified as being "away from a public highway"? Is it suitable to be used on pavements?

Finally a few words more about the rubbish collection situation. This week in Floyd Road the additional bin lorry that used to empty the "contaminated" bins every week has not appeared. Now that may be because it is an extra collection and waste services are still recovering from the situation last week. However could it also be because that despite your statement that it's "too early to assess the success or failure of the new arrangements" someone within waste services has decided that it's not too early and that given how we now have our black bins they can stop the extra collections?

Well I do hope not, the attached photos illustrate the state of the road today where alongside unemptied bins it appears that residents, frustrated at finding their own bins still full, are dumping waste sacks in the street. It's another two weeks before our next scheduled black sack/bin collection so this could be quite a problem for quite a period of time if the additional collections are simply stopped with no other remedial action.

Can you confirm if the additional weekly collection of contaminated bins and the upgrading of black sack collections to weekly is to continue?

Or if it is they are to stop, which I agree that they must, that something is being done about the state of the street?

Without announcement or admission of the problems extra collections were introduced by the Council, residents have now obviously come to expect them and withdrawing them without comment will create the problems that the photos clearly show.

Waste sacks dumped by a public bin.

This is almost certainly due to the contaminated bin being unemptied, the sack could only have been there for a day or two and already it's been torn open by animals and rotting food waste is spread across the pavement.

Incorrectly filled and unemptied green and blue bins next to a seemingly empty black bin.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The History of Floyd Road (Part 2 - 1894)

Following on from The History of Floyd Road (Part 1 - 1867) here's part 2 27 years later. This is once again using a map published by Alan Godfrey Maps and as I've said before if you're enjoying this go and buy yourself a copy either from their web site or the Heritage Centre. They're £2.25 each and they really are good. There's just so much to look at, especially if you pick up all the the three vintage maps.

Anyway, here we go, Floyd Road in 1894.

The first thing to notice is that Floyd Road still isn't on the map. There are a few houses there but the street is known as "Cedar Grove". That's now the name for the little road that comes off Floyd Road and lies between it and the railway, well almost, that's Cedar Place. There are buildings marked out along there but those along what is now Cedar Place are obviously far too new. So I wonder what was there?

The garden that was where Floyd Road will be in 1867 has now gone completely and the buildings that were on the NE corner of it now appear to have changed. The one nearest the railway is marked as being a bank which is the logo you can still see faintly painted on it's side. The newsagent on the west side of Charlton Church Lane was the Post Office back then.

The chalk and sand pits now appear to be closed down, off the scanned area of the map they're labelled "Old Sand & Chalk Pits". Note how the tramway has also been removed. However before that all went there had been substantial further excavation. The excavations have gone further south and Charlton Grove, what I imagined to be a large house has been lost. Industry remains in the area though, a disinfectant works has appeared.

Charlton Station has also changed, and not just it's name to Charlton Junction. It's now got a Coal Depot and goods handling facility to the north of the current eastbound platform with what appears to be at least two lines of track. You can see a photo showing the beginning of that area here. Those tracks lasted up to the 1960s and explain why Troughton Road has some newer houses and car parking space there now.

The Railway has also had bigger changes. Back in 1867 there was no train through to Greenwich, the Royal Navy College and/or the Observatory had been refusing permission to tunnel underneath them. However by 1894 that's changed. A new set of track cuts straight west away from the line running off to Blackheath and Westcombe Park Station has appeared.

The biggest change in the area has just got to be the amount of extra housing that has been built. Delafield Road, Sundorne Road, Priolo Road, Invarine Road and Fossdene Road were fields back in 1867, now they're there and lined with houses. Roads that were already there have gained extra housing. The entire east side of Charlton Church Lane is now full of houses right up to the village. Wellington Road used to have some substantially sized buildings on it's south side, they've now been joined by some smaller neighbours on the other side of the road. Around the new Westcombe Park Station a whole new estata with dozens of houses has sprung up.

On a personal level of history a building to the north of the railway has now been named, Lime Villa. You can read all about it here. It was the home of a Thomas Nichols who was a Lime Merchant and he moved in in the mid 1860s. The article linked to mentions the trouble he had getting local chalk/limestone, that ties in nicely with the decline in the quarries between this map and the one from 1867. I wonder if when he moved there the local quarries were already running their production down? The house, and the name he gave it, remained there until the 1960s when it was demolished and Barney Close built over it.

So there's been a lot of change in the few years between 1876 and 1894 and there's a lot more to come in the 20 years between this map and my next one from 1914.

Monday, February 09, 2009

It's all the snow's fault!

Councillor Gary Parker has to his credit replied to my email. I should point out that he replied very quickly after I sent it and that this is the first chance I've had to post it up.

This is what he had to say....

I will get back to you on this, though my initial comments are that given the new bins have only just been delivered and given the weather recently, when many of our staff in waste collection have been diverted onto gritting and other related issues, its still to early to assess the success or failure of the new arrangements. But I will consult officers on some specific issues you raise and get back to you.

So if I'm reading that right it's the fault of the weather and it's effect upon waste collection staff that is causing people to continue to put black sacks out in the wrong week or to "contaminate" their bins.

So that must mean that there are more black bins on the way but their deliveries were held up by the snow. Or perhaps Council staff were due to go around and talk to residents but were called away to deal with the weather.

Or it could just be a convenient, but not too plausible, excuse...

I'm sure that he'll get back to me, to his credit he is good with email communication, and we'll see if he goes into any more detail.

"The introduction of a third bin for residual waste should further improve the situation."

This is an email that I have sent to Councillor Gary Parker.


Well the new black bins have, as you promised, been delivered to Floyd Road and after a couple of collections it seems like a good time to assess your statement that "the introduction of a third bin for residual waste should further improve the situation."

Has it worked?

Well no, I don't believe that any honest man could claim that it has.

Residents without black bins are continuing to put out black sacks in the wrong week, now perhaps you might say that the black bin deliveries are not yet complete and that they too will soon have a black bin.

However even residents that do have black bins are continuing to fill their other bins with the wrong waste, which the Council defines as "contaminated", which results in the bins not being collected.

So can we agree that the black bins have certainly not resolved the situation?

So what are you going to do now?

The Council has tried a number of tactics over the last year to implement the new bin scheme. At first you ignored rubbish in the street and overspilling contaminated bins. Then additional collections were introduced every week both to take away black sacks and to empty contaminated bins. Finally black bins were introduced. None of these ideas have worked.

I fear that the Council will return to the "ignore" mode of last spring and once again rubbish will accumulate.

However I also do not support the continued extra collections, on both a budgetary and an environmental front they do not make any sense. They also act as sticking plasters covering up the problem and in fact encouraging residents to ignore the new scheme as it's been proven that their bins will be emptied and black sacks taken regardless of when and where they are put out.

I've said from the very early days of the new scheme, when it's failures were all too readily apparent, that the only real solution is for the Council to come out and talk to those residents who are having issues. Unlike many people I know I do believe that the Council did do what could reasonably be expected to publicise the new scheme before it began. The Council have also been persistent in singing the praises and claiming the successes of the new scheme to us residents in publications such as Greenwich Time.

However those things are all one way communications, Greenwich Council has shown itself to be very good at talking at residents and telling us that everything is fine.

Now surely you have to actually talk with residents to resolve the problems and establish a real two way conversation with us.

Perhaps you could even give some of your time to walk around the streets and talk to those people who are having difficulties complying with the new scheme. Surely that would be a move environmentally and economically viable solution than spending our money on extra black bins and extra rubbish collections?

I enclose some photos illustrating the continued problems that are occurring.

Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing your response.



How many bins do residents now need to have? Is any thought given during their distribution?

This was taken last week. Residents without black bins are continuing to put black sacks out in the wrong weeks and those sacks are being torn open by animals spreading the waste around.

Even residents with black bins are continuing to fill their other bins with the "wrong" waste. These problems are not caused by people having no where to put their black sacks.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Chocolate Teapot Clipper Campaign?

There's rather an interesting story on the News Shopper web site.

Greenwich Council are calling on the Mayor to get Oyster Cards accepted on the Clipper commuter riverboats, a better level subsidy and an increased timetable..

However Boris Johnson has said that neither he nor TFL have heard anything about this.

Loathe as I am to quote the local Tories, who are in my opinion as much to blame for the shocking state of politics in Greenwich as the Labour party are, Councillor Spencer Drury seems to sum it up when he says "I am curious what sort of campaign fails to contact the person or organisation which it is seeking to influence. The council is complaining because Boris hasn’t done something that it never asked him to do - this campaign is simply deceitful."

Could it be that Greenwich Council are making a noise about doing something when actually they're doing nothing? That's not like them now is it?

Or is there some decent explanation behind this? Are the Council trying to gather support first before contacting Boris?

I'm not totally convinced that there is a genuine problem here and not just some Tory trying to cover up their own "do nothing" attitude by accusing the Council of the same.

However it is very hard indeed to think of a reason why a campaign wouldn't at least touch base with the people who make the relevant decisions to at least see if something is on the cards.

So the Council's Clipper Campaign might be the 2nd nomination for the Chocolate Teapot 2009.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Should your road be gritted?

As I've said already today Floyd Road has not been gritted, and it's not alone. I've seen a number of other roads that haven't had any attention and I'm not the only local blogger to notice this.

However should we expect all of our roads to be gritted?

As it turns out the Council do provide some information about this. In particular they have a Winter Service Policy that goes into a reasonable level of detail about what they aim to do.

From that I've learned that all streets are broken down into three priorities:

Priority 1
  • main distributor roads
  • secondary distributor roads
  • main bus routes
  • transport interchanges
  • roads leading to hospitals, ambulances and fire stations
Priority 2
  • routes linking main and secondary distributor roads
  • routes through industrial estates and housing hubs
Priority 3
  • all remaining residential roads

Pavements are broken down into similar groups:

Priority 1
  • main shopping areas such as Eltham, Woolwich and Greenwich Town Centres
  • transport interchanges i.e. around rail stations
Priority 2
  • local shopping areas
  • footbridges
  • routes through housing estates
  • hills
  • around schools
Priority 3
  • all remaining footways

Floyd Road is, perhaps somewhat surprisingly, a Priority 2 road and the pavement around the station should be a Priority 1 area.

Neither have been gritted.

So three full days after the snow begins to fall Greenwich Council have failed to grit their Priority 2 roads and their Priority 1 pavements.

Is that reasonable?

I am quite genuinely not sure. On the one hand this has been truly exceptional weather and buses along main roads now seem to be fine. On the other we have had three days and what sort of priority is "priority 2" if it's not done after all that time?

And all of this must come with a warning that in order for gritting to be effective you need a certain level of movement over it. So perhaps my street has actually been gritted but hasn't seen enough vehicles to get it to work.

Anyway check your street out and let's see if we can gain some measure as to how the Council is doing when measured against it's own priorities.

I'm very tempted to go out and buy a shovel, if I already had one I'd have been out there by now trying to make a bit of a difference around me.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Final photos of the snow...

...or are they? More might be on the way later in the week.

Anyway because I really enjoyed having the snow here are a final few photos.

"We want information" and "improvements"?

Train & Buses
Southeastern's Web site appears to be under a bit of stress right now and seems to be serving up a minimal simple page. They do claim to be running a normal service. The station this morning however saw rather large queues and about a half hour delay on some services into London.

The buses should be running, the TFL web site appears to be made of sterner stuff than Southeastern's, or perhaps it's not getting hit as much, and is giving out all sorts of information. Some routes are being diverted, the 486 is apparently going via Westcombe Hill thus avoiding Charlton Church Lane. A friend waited 30 minutes for it this morning. Charlton Church Lane does seem gritted and pretty clear, but there is a massive queue of traffic on it running from the lights right up past Conran's.

Council Services
Lewisham's Web Site is being quite helpful with some nice links on the front page.

Bromley's Web Site is doing similar things, right at the top a nice green link to an information page.

Bexley's Web Site puts a link to information right at the top of their home page too.

Greenwich's Web Site leads with a story about the Royal Arsenal Co-Operative Society. Maybe they've got some information further down, um, no, not that I can see. Nothing about schools, nothing about roads and nothing about waste collection. Even searching about through the site I can't find any information.

Could the Council be failing to communicate to it's residents? Surely not!

Edited to add: At some point over the morning Greenwich have got a page up with a small amount of information on it, it's here. Basically if your rubbish isn't taken this week then it will be taken next week and they're only aware of one school, Woolwich Polytechnic, being partially closed. Oh and they did manage to deliver Greenwich Time to me today reminding me that all is well and wonderful here in Greenwich!

Floyd Road itself doesn't appear to have been gritted, though for grit to work it does also need a certain level of traffic so maybe it has and it's just not worked properly because of that. It still looks rather nasty, cars are getting up and down though as I walked up it this morning I saw a lorry get stuck on the corner half way up. This road isn't a major one or even a through route so it's got to be a very low priority so I'm not sure if we should expect it to be gritted or not, I think I'll bet on the "not" as there's so many other more high priority roads around.

Edited to add:I'm not the only local blogger to notice that only main roads appear to be being gritted. Still the question stands, should we expect them to be?

I did see a bin lorry in Floyd Road this morning, which in all honesty did really impress me. It was emptying the blue wheely bin at the top of the road, none of the other waste has been collected, so their heroic efforts appear to not be aimed at us residents.

I can understand completely why we've not had collections, but I would like to know what's going to happen.

Anyhow a few more photos....A rather ropey looking Floyd Road, cars are getting up and down it though, I'm not sure that I want to try.

The blue bin that a rubbish lorry has been able to empty, and behind it a green bin overspilling with plastic bags. So was Councillor Gary Parker right when he said that the new black bins would improve the situation? Or did I have it closer when I suggested that "we'll continue to see black sacks on the street" and "over spilling wrongly filled bins"?

Further signs of improvements.

How many bins? Well I presume it's better than actually talking to people to try and sort things out.


So are all the black bins for Floyd road delivered? Do all the houses that need them have them? Well the answer to the latter question is obviously no.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

After the snow

So how are things now that the snow has stopped falling.

Well my road hasn't been gritted, but I wasn't thinking that that was really much of an issue. When we had the big snows back in 2003 I lived elsewhere and my road wasn't gritted then so I'm not sure if we should be expecting it now.

However I read a story on the News Shopper web site that made me think about how well Greenwich was prepared and how well it's dealt with things.

Basically our neighbouring boroughs of Bexley and Lewisham claim to have most of their schools open. Greenwich on the other hand has most of it's schools closed.

So why's that then?

Was the snow in Greenwich somehow heavier than on Bexley and Lewisham?

Or could it be that the Council simply wasn't prepared and couldn't organise it's gritters properly so as to enable the schools to open.

Before reading that story I really wasn't that cynical about Greenwich's handling with what's going on. My view was that this sort of event is rare enough as to make more extensive preparations a bit of a waste of money.

However when Council's around us can open their schools and we can't aren't there some questions to be asked? Even if it's the case that Lewisham and Bexley did something special and out of the ordinary as opposed to Greenwich Council being their usual shambles isn't there something to be learned?

Monday, February 02, 2009


The morning commute today was a fail, the trains and buses are all suspended. So I went for a stroll instead and it was really rather lovely. There was a moment up in the park when the sun was coming up and everything turned this amazing shade of pink :)