I don’t think I have ever mentioned to you Dear Reader that I think North Devon District Council (NDDC) is a truly wonderful organisation. And what an efficient service and how full of common sense they all are sitting in their ‘ivory towers’ in Barnstaple. Because in their wisdom they decides to re organise their recycling and bin collections routes and in their even greater wisdom decided to use a company based in Liverpool to do so!
Now don’t get me wrong apparently this company has lots and lots and lots of lovely shiny technical, digital SatNavie type thingys that can plot routes at the other end of the country without the need of local knowledge. These machines know just how narrow some lanes are, that some are dead ends and where the county boundaries are. So of course no chaos will ensue.
Along side all the lovely new routes NDDC have up their “green credentials and issued everyone with new larger food waste bins. But sadly, they haven’t made the lorries large to accommodate the extra waste. Thus the lorries filled up quicker, they go back to unload and run out of time to finished the rounds. Mean while the new routes were introduced sending big lorries up little lanes and little lorries to the wrong place or places that don’t exsist. Only a Council can be soooooooooo stupid to do this. Hence since Easter we have had just 5 recycling collections instead of weekly. I have phoned their offices 14 times, filled in 11 online “missed collection notification forms” and emailed the Chief Executive Officer twice and asked for a reduction on my council tax,  all of which has fallen on deaf ears.
I have heard every excuse from drivers off sick, lorry broken down, lorry too full to finish the round and the best one is that I apparently live in Somerset not Devon. Several times whilst complaining I have been ask by a NDDC member of Staff “Well what do you want us to do”?.  “Well as I am complaining about lack of collection, how about COLLECTING IT”?.
I have always had problems with the Council re both the recycling and bin collections. When I first moved here there was a lovely shiny new black wheelie bin at the farm. I duely took it all the 3\4 mile up the farm track to the entrance and duly put my rubbish in it…cos thats what you do with wheelie bin. There the bin sat and sat and each week nothing happening apart from me putting more rubbish in. After a while I called the Council and was told that as I wasn’t on the wheelie bin collect so I shouldn’t be using it, in fact I shouldn’t have a wheelie bin at all. Due to health and safely the bin men were not allowed to open the bin and remove the black bags from inside it. So the next week I put out black bins bags – as instructed – but stupidly I put a small rock on them, it was a tad windy and I didn’t want them blowing away. Next day they were still there. Next week the same thing happened. So I called the council and was informed that due to health and safely the bin men were not allowed to lift the rocks to take the bags away. For several years I just didn’t bother with the rubbish – excuse the pun – I burnt as much as I could, I composted all food waste and I took my recycling to the tip and carefully placed it in the correct collection bins. Until I had, had enough and decided to moan and moan and moan and eventually they started to collect. However, all good things must come to an end and this year it did.
On the plus side, I noticed the council have been cutting back the road side verges in certains places. Obviously this is to give us motorists a clearer and safe view of the road – all very good health and safely. They have cut the grass back from around various corners, at road junctions, they have even cut the grass around sign posts. Again this does give us motorist lovely clear views of the sign so you know where to go. But the piece de las resistance is just down the lane from the farm. They have cut around the signpost at “Hollywell Cross”  its just a shame they haven’t replaced the signpost arms showing you which way is which!  God Bless NDDC…….