The Northampton Chronicle and Echo
Apr 11 2013
It would seem that Northampton council have been using a council flat to store tools for eight years. Makes a mockery of the bedroom tax somewhat. Only discovered due to a freedom of information request seeming.
Glanced at the headline announcing the BBC’s new DG and did a quick double take as I thought it said they’d appointed Terry Hall as Director General. Mind you if they had I bet he still wouldn’t have looked happy about it.
Image by DerekL under this creative commons licence
There’s a news item on the Beeb about a European scheme to encourage mass energy supplier switching. I have to say I’m not convinced by these schemes. To me it’s a bit like a lemmings flash-mob running head first into a bait and switch scheme which will always be funded by other consumers paying over the odds. It’s simply not a sustainable scheme and certainly not a long term answer to rising energy bills.
Image by Ian F Thomas under this creative commons licence
As Newsweek calls it a day for paper editions and even The Guardian newspaper in the UK contemplates a day when they’ll be digital only it surely won’t be long before today’s fish and chips are wrapped in yesterdays e-ink screens.
Image by sameold2010 under this creative commons licence
In other ‘tinkering at the edges’ type news the British government (for want of a more accurate description) has announced an change to the hours during which people can get married.
Traditionally this marryin’ lark had to happen between 8am and 6pm. Only ‘traditional’ religious institutions don’t have to offer anything other than the old ..er..traditional hours so it looks like it will be restricted to civil ceremonies and a minority of enterprising religious hipsters.
All a little meaningless when unlike many other countries you still can’t get married where you like. Just places that have a licence.Oh and where are our celebrants? (other than only in Scotland)
I can remember filming a wedding many years ago that was scheduled for a 5:30pm start in church. Due to it being a stacker where this was the last of a day of weddings at the same church meant that cummulative delays at each previous wedding didn’t clear the church for the last ceremony until 5.45pm. Very embarrasin’
The Vicar promptly hurried the couple into place, announced we would sing only one verse of the first hymn before launching into the vows at speed, dispensing with the other two chosen hymns and having said couple walking like a couple of stunned mullets back down the aisle again by a few minutes to six. Almost a drive by affair such was its haste. All because of the 6pm deadline.
Photos in the grounds were also a rushed affair as the Vicar wanted to be locked up and home for tea pretty sharpish (ooh I could tell you some tales).
Tradition eh. A prison made of the familiar.
Image by Moyan Brenn under this creative commons licence.
In the UK we have a severe lack of housing. In Ireland it’s the opposite though to adapt a line from Eric Morecambe, it may be a case of all the right houses but not necessarily in the right places. They may be about to demolish some of the 600 ghost estates built during the Celtic Tiger boom years.
Council proposes £25 fee to empty your green bin – Local – Stamford Mercury.
South Kesteven district council (Conservative) in Lincolnshire, UK is proposing a £25 annual charge to households in order for their garden waste bin to be emptied. This charge, they claim, will help keep the council tax at it’s current rate by making green waste collection an optional extra charge.
Can we envisage a time when similar services are broken down by individual costs? Those that can’t or won’t pay won’t get the service.
This proposed green wast charge is not as high as East Northamptonshire council who contracted out their service to a private contractor which charges £14.40 to join the collection service with a £58.20 annual charge.
The thin end of a very sharp wedge? Very probably. But local authorities are having to question what are the core services that can be funded by ever smaller budgets and what they can now only offer as optional chargeable extras.
Image adapted from an original by harry harris under this creative commons licence