SNOW: Cotswolds Liberal Democrat Paul Hodgkinson hits out at Cotswold District Councils and Ubio Ltd over missed waste collections

A LEADING Cotswolds Liberal Democrat has hit out at Cotswold District Council’s waste contractor Ubico for cancelling collections for the entirety of this week as a result of the snow.

No waste or recycling collections have been made in the district since Friday, and Cotswold District Council said the earliest they would start again is Monday.

Cotswold Liberal Democrat leader Cllr Paul Hodgkinson (Churn Valley) described the cancellations as “crazy”.

“I understand the issue of being mindful of the safety of workers but we’ve had postmen and other deliveries – it seems to me where there’s a will there’s a way,” he said.

“There has to be some way of doing some form of collection on main roads at least.”

Although Ubico has said residents will be able to leave double the amount of usual waste and recycling on their next scheduled collection day, Cllr Hodgkinson said many residents were angry they would not have collections for an entire month.

“We had the same problem in December 2010 and January 2011 and I was hoping lessons would be learned from that, but clearly not,” he said.

“People say ‘We pay our council tax, why can’t it be collected?’, “Residents expect more than just one collection a month.

“I’m told in other councils they offer overtime to workers – it is a statutory service after all.”

Emergency pick-up points have also been set up at Cirencester lorry park, Fairford High Street car park and Lechlade town council offices and are open from 8am to 2pm until Friday.

Waste collections are going ahead as normal in neighbouring West Oxfordshire district.

Collections are also being carried out in Stroud district, although some delays are being experienced.

Cotswold District Council has today issued a leaflet explaining why collections are not being carried out, including that Ubico’s 26-tonne collection vehicles could pose a serious danger to residents and workers in icy conditions.

The full leaflet can be seen here.

Comments (19)

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3:30pm Thu 24 Jan 13

David Broad says...

It sounds like Paul Hodgkinson is somewhat out of touch, is he in London?
I am at the CDC offices now but an hour ago the roads around Chedworth, which is two miles north of Paul's Ward and has a scheduled collection today were single track between snow banks, where they have been cleared but otherwise completely covered in snow, in fact I had to turn round an hour ago as the the road south to Calmsden and Cirencester was snow covered, and too risky to use, even our valiant postman was around two hours late, and to be honest the last thing we need is a 26 tonne refuse lorry stuck in the village. Arrangements have been made, people with missed collections can put out black bags next time, it is more important to get the message out through Parish Websites and the like promptly so bins are not put out needlessly.
You need to have consideration for the people that do the collections in the freezing numbing cold on icy roads and pavements risking broken legs crushed ribs and worse, a bit of thanks when they struggle through would be nice not endless carping unfair criticism.
It sounds like Paul Hodgkinson is somewhat out of touch, is he in London? I am at the CDC offices now but an hour ago the roads around Chedworth, which is two miles north of Paul's Ward and has a scheduled collection today were single track between snow banks, where they have been cleared but otherwise completely covered in snow, in fact I had to turn round an hour ago as the the road south to Calmsden and Cirencester was snow covered, and too risky to use, even our valiant postman was around two hours late, and to be honest the last thing we need is a 26 tonne refuse lorry stuck in the village. Arrangements have been made, people with missed collections can put out black bags next time, it is more important to get the message out through Parish Websites and the like promptly so bins are not put out needlessly. You need to have consideration for the people that do the collections in the freezing numbing cold on icy roads and pavements risking broken legs crushed ribs and worse, a bit of thanks when they struggle through would be nice not endless carping unfair criticism. David Broad
  • Score: 0

3:57pm Thu 24 Jan 13

Olly Cromwell says...

Hey, Cllr Broad (Con) you really need to get out more.

The main roads are perfectly fine so quite why Cotswold District Council have thrown in the towel and abandoned collections for the whole week is really letting taxpayers down.

Get some snow chains for the lorries and ice boots for the operatives and get back to work.

'Best endeavour' practice should operate just as is happening with Royal Mail.
Hey, Cllr Broad (Con) you really need to get out more. The main roads are perfectly fine so quite why Cotswold District Council have thrown in the towel and abandoned collections for the whole week is really letting taxpayers down. Get some snow chains for the lorries and ice boots for the operatives and get back to work. 'Best endeavour' practice should operate just as is happening with Royal Mail. Olly Cromwell
  • Score: 0

5:34pm Thu 24 Jan 13

Iansky says...

Funny that - we can all make it in to work and I drive to work in Malmesbury and have seen waste collection lorries operating in other areas.
Perhaps we need a new provider as this is becoming a habit when we are faced with inclement weather.
They are also prone to leaving empty bins scattered across pavements.
I am not callous and do have some sense of empathy as certain roads + 85% of pavements have been lethal as not cleared, Cecily Hill in particular has been a solid sheet of ice made worse by the road camber.
Another fine example of incompetence - makes me wonder what our Council tax is for........high salaries?
Funny that - we can all make it in to work and I drive to work in Malmesbury and have seen waste collection lorries operating in other areas. Perhaps we need a new provider as this is becoming a habit when we are faced with inclement weather. They are also prone to leaving empty bins scattered across pavements. I am not callous and do have some sense of empathy as certain roads + 85% of pavements have been lethal as not cleared, Cecily Hill in particular has been a solid sheet of ice made worse by the road camber. Another fine example of incompetence - makes me wonder what our Council tax is for........high salaries? Iansky
  • Score: 0

7:03pm Thu 24 Jan 13

Council Taxpayer says...

Cllr Broad is, no doubt, correct to state that some isolated villages like Chedworth could expect to be deprived of collections conditions improved. But what numbskull at CDC took the decision that every single collection throughout the district should be cancelled for a whole week?
This typifies the bizarre decision making process at CDC where the chief executive made the crazy decision to blow £20,000 of our cash on employing a magician to cheer up workers.
Couple this with the thoughtless decision to hike parking charges during the depth of a recession and a pattern of incompetence and contempt for local taxpayers is obvious.
Cllr Broad is, no doubt, correct to state that some isolated villages like Chedworth could expect to be deprived of collections conditions improved. But what numbskull at CDC took the decision that every single collection throughout the district should be cancelled for a whole week? This typifies the bizarre decision making process at CDC where the chief executive made the crazy decision to blow £20,000 of our cash on employing a magician to cheer up workers. Couple this with the thoughtless decision to hike parking charges during the depth of a recession and a pattern of incompetence and contempt for local taxpayers is obvious. Council Taxpayer
  • Score: 0

7:51pm Thu 24 Jan 13

lucky1986 says...

Has anyone thought about the fact they would have to pull the heavy bins to where ever they could get the lorry to? I know I wouldn't want to put my back out for some rubbish! Then not be able to work for a lot longer? And how many of the estates or little roads actually get gritted or cleared?!
Has anyone thought about the fact they would have to pull the heavy bins to where ever they could get the lorry to? I know I wouldn't want to put my back out for some rubbish! Then not be able to work for a lot longer? And how many of the estates or little roads actually get gritted or cleared?! lucky1986
  • Score: 0

8:51pm Thu 24 Jan 13

Crispin Mount says...

Perhaps the bin Czars at Ubico (named after a South American dictator) could outsource some work to those keen people from Romania who'll do it for less wonga and work in the winter.

Anyone else noticed everything Cllr Fowles touches goes wrong?....Water Park fraud scandal, bins, bogs, car parking, etc.
Perhaps the bin Czars at Ubico (named after a South American dictator) could outsource some work to those keen people from Romania who'll do it for less wonga and work in the winter. Anyone else noticed everything Cllr Fowles touches goes wrong?....Water Park fraud scandal, bins, bogs, car parking, etc. Crispin Mount
  • Score: 0

12:30am Fri 25 Jan 13

Council Taxpayer says...

"Everything he touches goes wrong" you say. Have they given him his shotgun licence back yet?
"Everything he touches goes wrong" you say. Have they given him his shotgun licence back yet? Council Taxpayer
  • Score: 0

9:15am Fri 25 Jan 13

Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum says...

"Everything he touches goes wrong" you say. Have they given him his shotgun licence back yet?”

That, my friend, is a brilliant story maybe kept for another time.

Have you heard the one about thecounciller, the converted barn and the Land Rover??
"Everything he touches goes wrong" you say. Have they given him his shotgun licence back yet?” That, my friend, is a brilliant story maybe kept for another time. Have you heard the one about thecounciller, the converted barn and the Land Rover?? Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum
  • Score: 0

10:25am Fri 25 Jan 13

David Broad says...

So if Paul Hodgkinson thinks the decision to cancel collections is crazy, does that mean he thinks the Liberal Democrats in Cheltenham , who took exactly the same decision, are also crazy?
So if Paul Hodgkinson thinks the decision to cancel collections is crazy, does that mean he thinks the Liberal Democrats in Cheltenham , who took exactly the same decision, are also crazy? David Broad
  • Score: 0

10:26am Fri 25 Jan 13

David Broad says...

And has Cllr Paul Hodgkinson already forgotten about the poor bin man who lost his life in Fairford three or four years ago?
And has Cllr Paul Hodgkinson already forgotten about the poor bin man who lost his life in Fairford three or four years ago? David Broad
  • Score: 0

5:21pm Fri 25 Jan 13

Susie Clark says...

I have just listened to Radio Gloucestershire - roads closed in the Cotswolds , HGV vehicles in accidents, snow and ice hazards. Still, never mind, thinks Cllr Hodgkinson - the waste truck drivers can take the risk - it would be "crazy" for them not to.
And this is the man who is using road safety as his County Election platform later this year.
I have just listened to Radio Gloucestershire - roads closed in the Cotswolds , HGV vehicles in accidents, snow and ice hazards. Still, never mind, thinks Cllr Hodgkinson - the waste truck drivers can take the risk - it would be "crazy" for them not to. And this is the man who is using road safety as his County Election platform later this year. Susie Clark
  • Score: 0

10:23pm Fri 25 Jan 13

Olly Cromwell says...

Bus drivers. lorry drivers, coach drivers, delivery drivers all have the same responsibility and today the main roads are full of busy people going about their business.

As the inept Tories can't deliver a statutory service then they should refund some Council Tax.
Bus drivers. lorry drivers, coach drivers, delivery drivers all have the same responsibility and today the main roads are full of busy people going about their business. As the inept Tories can't deliver a statutory service then they should refund some Council Tax. Olly Cromwell
  • Score: 0

11:35am Sun 27 Jan 13

David Broad says...

I probably shouldn't have to point this out, Olly, but every dwelling in the Cotswolds gets a refuse collection and not every dwelling is on a main road.
Buses were still not running along my road on Friday because of the weather, that is the main vilage road, not some narrow farm track, and the pavements in Cirencester from CDC offices to Burford road were uniformlysnow covered on Thursday when you were blathering about Ice boots and skid chains
Have you ever tried to fit skid chains? On a twin wheel axle of a 26 tonne truck. It is bad enough on a 15" car wheel and yes the chains do wreck the Alloy wheels even if you can fiddle the chains around the spokes
You just have not thought through the logistics of catch up, that is you have to get people to leave their bins at the roadside, and that means in the way on the pavement in Cirencester and blocking our entrance in my case. Not very clever.
If anyone missed a refuse collection then Ubico have said they will collect black bags next time.
Sorted.
I probably shouldn't have to point this out, Olly, but every dwelling in the Cotswolds gets a refuse collection and not every dwelling is on a main road. Buses were still not running along my road on Friday because of the weather, that is the main vilage road, not some narrow farm track, and the pavements in Cirencester from CDC offices to Burford road were uniformlysnow covered on Thursday when you were blathering about Ice boots and skid chains Have you ever tried to fit skid chains? On a twin wheel axle of a 26 tonne truck. It is bad enough on a 15" car wheel and yes the chains do wreck the Alloy wheels even if you can fiddle the chains around the spokes You just have not thought through the logistics of catch up, that is you have to get people to leave their bins at the roadside, and that means in the way on the pavement in Cirencester and blocking our entrance in my case. Not very clever. If anyone missed a refuse collection then Ubico have said they will collect black bags next time. Sorted. David Broad
  • Score: 0

1:11pm Sun 27 Jan 13

Olly Cromwell says...

The Council's policy needs to be pragmatic rather than dogmatic. Reactive rather than refusenik.

The commercial waste contractor was out collecting last Thursday.

Ubico was out collecting in Cheltenham at the weekend, yet in the Cotswolds where Council Tax is one of the highest in the UK we get bottom quartile Tory politicians making 2nd rate decisions.

4 weeks is too long to wait for a collection which is what your policy means for some residents.

PS: Stop taking the patronising pills or you'll face being demoted to the CDC Cabinet!
The Council's policy needs to be pragmatic rather than dogmatic. Reactive rather than refusenik. The commercial waste contractor was out collecting last Thursday. Ubico was out collecting in Cheltenham at the weekend, yet in the Cotswolds where Council Tax is one of the highest in the UK we get bottom quartile Tory politicians making 2nd rate decisions. 4 weeks is too long to wait for a collection which is what your policy means for some residents. PS: Stop taking the patronising pills or you'll face being demoted to the CDC Cabinet! Olly Cromwell
  • Score: 0

8:18pm Mon 28 Jan 13

userBJones says...

Mr Paul Hodgkinson states:

I understand the issue of being mindful of the safety of workers but we’ve had postmen and other deliveries – it seems to me where there’s a will there’s a way,” he said.

Maybe Mr Hodgkinson needs to view these videos on YouTube, just ask yourselve "what would have happened if a child was behind these vehicles.

Just type into YouTube the following:

Kirklees bin wagon skidding on ice and snow

UK refuse lorry skidding on ice

Refuse truck on ice

Dustbin lorry stuck in the snow
Mr Paul Hodgkinson states: I understand the issue of being mindful of the safety of workers but we’ve had postmen and other deliveries – it seems to me where there’s a will there’s a way,” he said. Maybe Mr Hodgkinson needs to view these videos on YouTube, just ask yourselve "what would have happened if a child was behind these vehicles. Just type into YouTube the following: Kirklees bin wagon skidding on ice and snow UK refuse lorry skidding on ice Refuse truck on ice Dustbin lorry stuck in the snow userBJones
  • Score: 0

1:56pm Tue 29 Jan 13

Iansky says...

lucky1986 wrote:
Has anyone thought about the fact they would have to pull the heavy bins to where ever they could get the lorry to? I know I wouldn't want to put my back out for some rubbish! Then not be able to work for a lot longer? And how many of the estates or little roads actually get gritted or cleared?!
Lucy - without being facetious, the current bins issued to residents have wheels and the bin men wheel them to the rear of the wagon where they are hooked and lifted automatically by the arms - no heavy lifting, pulling, dragging etc.
What frustrates me is that this is now year 3 of this type of incident and still things have not improved in Ciren.
Wiltshire were in evidence on the road clearing rubbish but we in Ciren are fast heading into week 4 of no collection, scattered rubbish on pavements a total joy for vermin!
[quote][p][bold]lucky1986[/bold] wrote: Has anyone thought about the fact they would have to pull the heavy bins to where ever they could get the lorry to? I know I wouldn't want to put my back out for some rubbish! Then not be able to work for a lot longer? And how many of the estates or little roads actually get gritted or cleared?![/p][/quote]Lucy - without being facetious, the current bins issued to residents have wheels and the bin men wheel them to the rear of the wagon where they are hooked and lifted automatically by the arms - no heavy lifting, pulling, dragging etc. What frustrates me is that this is now year 3 of this type of incident and still things have not improved in Ciren. Wiltshire were in evidence on the road clearing rubbish but we in Ciren are fast heading into week 4 of no collection, scattered rubbish on pavements a total joy for vermin! Iansky
  • Score: 0

7:55pm Tue 29 Jan 13

Olly Cromwell says...

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT

As it was particularly windy and wet today Cotswold District Council & Ubico regret the non-appearance of the waste wagons (again) because there was an outside chance some flying newspaper (probably a copy of Private Eye) from an uncollected recycling box abandoned by the kerbside would stick to the window of the truck and cause an accident similar in devastation to Fukushima.

Best to stay in bed....just in case.
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT As it was particularly windy and wet today Cotswold District Council & Ubico regret the non-appearance of the waste wagons (again) because there was an outside chance some flying newspaper (probably a copy of Private Eye) from an uncollected recycling box abandoned by the kerbside would stick to the window of the truck and cause an accident similar in devastation to Fukushima. Best to stay in bed....just in case. Olly Cromwell
  • Score: 0

1:30pm Wed 30 Jan 13

Iansky says...

Olly Cromwell wrote:
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT As it was particularly windy and wet today Cotswold District Council & Ubico regret the non-appearance of the waste wagons (again) because there was an outside chance some flying newspaper (probably a copy of Private Eye) from an uncollected recycling box abandoned by the kerbside would stick to the window of the truck and cause an accident similar in devastation to Fukushima. Best to stay in bed....just in case.
Blast - and here's me thinking it was the "wrong type of rain".........I was going to call work and tell them I could not make it in but my conscience prevented me from doing so as we have enough around the area without one already!
[quote][p][bold]Olly Cromwell[/bold] wrote: SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT As it was particularly windy and wet today Cotswold District Council & Ubico regret the non-appearance of the waste wagons (again) because there was an outside chance some flying newspaper (probably a copy of Private Eye) from an uncollected recycling box abandoned by the kerbside would stick to the window of the truck and cause an accident similar in devastation to Fukushima. Best to stay in bed....just in case.[/p][/quote]Blast - and here's me thinking it was the "wrong type of rain".........I was going to call work and tell them I could not make it in but my conscience prevented me from doing so as we have enough around the area without one already! Iansky
  • Score: 0

9:20am Thu 31 Jan 13

Council Taxpayer says...

Though Cotswolds MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown has stayed aloof from this fiasco, it is gratifying to see that Cheltenham MP Martin Horwood has put a boot up the backsides of councillors who listened to Ubico's pleadings that their bin men are such fragile creatures that they can't brave a little bit of snow,

Mr Horwood said: "I'm told Ubico have said to councillors that these were operational decisions. I think they were just bad decisions. Councillors should read the riot act to Ubico's senior management, get them to prioritise clearing the backlog and make sure this kind of thing never happens again."

Why couldn't members of our useless Tory cabinet at CDC say something like that?
One other thing.....after a month without a refuse collection, can we have our money back please?
Though Cotswolds MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown has stayed aloof from this fiasco, it is gratifying to see that Cheltenham MP Martin Horwood has put a boot up the backsides of councillors who listened to Ubico's pleadings that their bin men are such fragile creatures that they can't brave a little bit of snow, Mr Horwood said: "I'm told Ubico have said to councillors that these were operational decisions. I think they were just bad decisions. Councillors should read the riot act to Ubico's senior management, get them to prioritise clearing the backlog and make sure this kind of thing never happens again." Why couldn't members of our useless Tory cabinet at CDC say something like that? One other thing.....after a month without a refuse collection, can we have our money back please? Council Taxpayer
  • Score: 0

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