Politically Correct by John Singleton

Staining and Weeton Cllr on Fylde Council John Singleton
Staining and Weeton Cllr on Fylde Council John Singleton
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‘Idleness’ of fly tippers is costing us all money

Sadly it has become an all too regular sight to see piles of rubbish dumped and scattered along our country lanes.

The unsightly, undesirable detritus consisting of household appliances, furniture and all manner of goods, now surplus to requirements, thrown out of windows and vans ending up in the hedgerows and grass verges.

There have been many cases of vehicles driving down country lanes and tipping the entire contents of their vehicles in the lay-bys and field entrances.

We seem to have lost the ability to take our rubbish to the tip. The respect we once had for our country appears to have vanished along with good manners and consideration for others.

In June 2015, after closing the country lanes between Staining and Poulton, equipped with paper pickers and sacks, a number of Staining volunteers and the Community Payback Team collected rubbish from the hedgerows, verges and ditches.

The exercise took one full morning, covered a distance of just 0.8 miles at the end of which we had gathered a staggering 1.5 tons of refuse.

The content ranged from plastic bottles, medical appliances, cardboard, paper, sex toys to the usual fast food containers. Thinking generously I suspect one of the major causes for this unforgiveable idleness maybe the restrictions in force at local council tips.

There will be more excuses to fly tip if further restrictions prevent people from using our tips freely and without excessive controls.

The collection of materials dumped by the roadside is expensive in terms of the manning, transport and disposal costs.

These charges are not paid for by the offenders but by you and I by way of council tax. We pay for the privilege of accessing a tip and then again for the disposal of someone else’s fly tipped trash.

This type of fly tippers spoils our rural areas. It is so easy to make the effort go to the tip, get a permit if you have to , it doesn’t cost the earth.

Fears over building bonus

Government funding, by way of grants, is being reduced over the next four years.

A new way of funding councils has been dreamed up whereby the government will fund councils with a New Homes Bonus payable annually for six years on each completed dwelling once occupied.

The more new dwellings, the more new homes bonus.

If this alone doesn’t make your blood boil then wait for the next gem. If a council refuses planning permission, and the application is sent for appeal and subsequently overturned, the council will only receive a small part of that New Homes Bonus.

Councils may well come to rely on this new form of funding in order to provide necessary services for their catchment areas and from where I stand it looks like a case of damned if you do, damned if you don’t!

Introduction of this scheme will, without question, have huge implications for open countryside throughout the land.

Already the Government is stripping away planning permission decision-making powers from local councils. In my opinion, this is a blatant reversal of Government development driven by sheer avarice with no consideration for eventual outcomes.

In all the so-called knowledge and alleged experience at Westminster, I do not hear of any plans for the provision of essential infrastructure or facilities such as GP services, new hospitals or reservoirs vital to sustain these many new homes.

I worry more land will be made available for these builders at the expense of people living in towns and villages.

We are promised more details but, rest assured, the information to come will not be in the interest of preserving any rural and open countryside areas.

Connect to the ‘real’ world

With our tablets, iPhones and various other devices many seem to have little or no time to chat, no time to care and no time be bothered with folk in the “real” world.

Many people look for instant gratification which satisfies only fleetingly leaving behind the desire for even more in-the-moment delights.

It is, however, entirely possible to marry the fantastic technological resources we have at our fingertips with the real world where people can experience lasting fulfilment and make a difference to others’ lives.

Thankfully there are still people who do care about others, people who actually talk to each other and people who do ask questions but not “what’s in it for me?”

I am referring to the people in our society in Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre who are volunteer members of our charitable service organisations.

People from all walks of life who care about other human beings and work tirelessly to help others.