Weekly Waste Round-Up 69

In the news this week:

EU water directives blow £65bn- "Water bills have already been soaring in recent years. But by far the greater part of that money has been spent, not on repairing pipes and drains, to avoid floods and provide us with extra water, but on complying with three over-the-top EU directives on water purification. As the Government admitted to Lord Pearson of Rannoch, these directives have so far cost us no less than £65 billion, leaving the water companies with only £14 billion to spend on infrastructure." (Sunday Telegraph 29.7.07)

£24,000 bonus for flood quango chief- "SENIOR executives at the Environment Agency face new controversy after it emerged last night that they received five-figure “performance bonuses” shortly before the recent floods hit Britain. Baroness Young, the quango’s chief executive, got a bonus of about £24,000 on top of her £163,000 salary. A further eight executives, including the director of water management, shared in the bonus handout last month. The average paid to each executive was equivalent to 10% of their salaries, although Young received 15%." (Sunday Times 29.7.07)

Metal tree costs £350,000- "Plans approved for a 21 ft tall metal sculpture tree, surrounded by floodlights in cleared woodland... The creation, called Tree Stories, is part of a £12 million "Greening for Growth" initiative to improve the environment of Stoke-on-Trent. But angry locals have likened it to the Blackpool Illuminations. They say it makes a mockery of a campaign by the council to encourage residents to cut back on their own energy use by driving less and not leaving their televisions on standby. With eight 26 ft high lights and 30 floor lights, the £350,000 project does not appear to be a shining example of carbon-neutral policy... In all, 20 trees will be removed to make way for Tree Stories." (Sunday Telegraph 29.7.07)

£6m on limos for Ministers- "The government spent nearly £6m last year on cars and drivers to ferry ministers around. The cost of providing 86 ministerial cars in 2006-07 was £5,902,900 - up from £5.47m the previous year." (BBC News 26.7.07)

£484,000 for typing injury- "A CLERK in the RAF has been paid £484,000 compensation for an RSI-style wrist injury—nearly NINE TIMES what a soldier would get if his leg was blown off in action. The scandalous payout, which will astonish troops who have been mutilated in Iraq and Afghanistan, went to an unnamed typist in her twenties who developed the strain in her right hand. Yet a serving soldier who comes home from war suffering "permanent severely impaired grip in both hands" would receive only £16,500 compensation. The official tariff of payments to servicemen and women shows they can expect just £28,750 for blindness in one eye, £57,500 for loss of a leg and £8,250 for injuries sustained surviving a gunshot wound to the torso." ( News of the World 29.7.07)

Total for week- £65,006,858,000

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