Rushmoor Borough Council have hit a new low in the already shoddy saga of councils attempting to withdraw bin services from overtaxed residents. Most readers will no doubt be well aware that despite council tax having soared across the country in recent years, well over a third of councils have now cut bin collections to once every fortnight rather than once a week.
Having trialled fortnightly collections but ditched the plan due to the furious reaction of residents, Rushmoor have shown all the ethics of a snake and simply halved the size of the bins instead. This is typical of the increasingly patronising, dictatorial attitude taken by too many councils who seem to have forgotten that they are meant to serve the public, not boss us around.
When, a few weeks ago, I spoke at a conference on what local authorities like to call "Alternate Weekly Collections" - or a service cut to you and me - this approach was widely displayed. Several councils openly espoused the view that it was ok to ignore consultations that showed people want weekly collections on the basis that "they would say that, wouldn't they". Having ignored the public's requests, the next stage was "behaviour changing", which consists largely of spending even more taxpayers' money on propaganda, followed by more intensive beating of people with fines and charging.
It's this arrogance that really angers people, and Rushmoor are a particularly notable example of that. Having tried halving the service by making it fortnightly, attempting to halve the service by other means is simply underhand. Perhaps they'd get a better response from people if they acknowledged who pays the bills, and started doing what local people wanted instead of throwing their weight around in this disgraceful manner.