Refuse collection and iPads

I had never heard of an apparent proposal from Bury Council to buy an iPad for every refuse collection lorry until I was contacted by a local journalist in the middle of the Bank Holiday weekend. I have nothing against the use of new technology but it does seem rather incongruous that the efficienct collection of refuse should depend on the use of an iPad.

The first question that has to be asked is ‘What is the problem that needs to be solved?’

If the problem is the learning of new routes the most economical, simplest and most sensible idea would be to give drivers a map with the new route marked on.

If the problem is how to record which households have not put out their recycling surely a simple clipboard, a few sheets of paper and a pen/pencil would do the same job just as quickly and easily.

There would be no danger of the battery running out. Much less training required. Much less risk of expensive equipment being stolen. Much less chance of delicate equipment being damaged. Much less cost.

Of course this debates overlooks the more fundamental question of what value the information would be to the Council. There are any number of genuine reasons what a household may not be putting a particular recycling bin out for collection. For example: the householder may be away on holiday/ they may not actually be producing any waste because of their purchasing habits/ they may work away most of the week/ they may take their recycling to recycling centres themselves/ they may make use of their waste themselves – personal recycling…….. there would no doubt be many more perfectly genuine reasons.

Furthermore I am no technology expert but I know enough to know that there are many other tablet style computers that could do the job more cheaply.

Well done England!

I doubt there would have been many folk who at the start of the summer would have predicted the England cricket team would win the series against India by a 4-0 whitewash. Apparently only the third time England has won a series of over three Tests by a whitewash. England now become the number one ranked team in Test cricket throughout the World. The challenge now is to see how long they can remain there!

Riots and e-petitions

Well I go away for a few days holiday and literally riots break out. I doubt after all the millions of words which have already been written about the riots and their causes there is much original left to say. I agree with those who lay the blame at the door of those who have allowed a culture of rights without responsibilities to take hold in our Country. There is no excuse for violence and theft.

Incidentally I note that only one e-petition has reached the required 100,000 signature target needed to trigger the subject of the petition being considered for debate and that is one calling for those convicted of taking part in the riots to lose their benefits. I am not sure what conclusion we can draw about the standard of education from the fact that the petition spells the word ‘lose’ as ‘loose’ ( as indeed I noticed another less popular petition on the same subject!). It is interesting to note what is happening to these e-petitions that reach the 100,000 mark all that happens is that they are referred to the Backbench Business Committee to decide whether to use any of the time allocated to them whether to use any of the time allocated for backbenchers business to debate the issue involved. I have to say I think it is a bit rich that the Government bring forward an initiative giving the public the impression that any e-petition which attracts 100,000 e-signatures will be considered for debate and then pass the responsibility for that consideration on to the Backbench Business Committee.