Shadow Local Government Minister Bob Neill has expressed support for a campaign by the Daily Mail against wheelie bins. "Households up and down the country are being hit by the curse of wheelie bins – an obsession of bin bureaucrats," he says. "This is all being driven by meddling Labour Ministers who seem intent on dictating how people dispose of their rubbish. This campaign will send Gordon Brown a message that enough is enough."
Council officers are always desperate to comply with health and safety guidance from Whitehall. Conservative-run Guildford has cravenly cited Health & Safety Executive advice as the reason for introducing more wheelie bins. But it is only advice. They do not have to follow it.
A health and safety manual issued in 2007 states that refuse collection involving plastic bags has "potential for injury" and suggests: "Consider replacing bag collections with rigid receptacles where practicable." Yet as with so much health and safety zealotry the problem is theoretical rather than real. No council has identified a single case of being successfully sued by a dustman over a bin bag related injury.
The Daily Mail are to be applauded for their campaign. Councils disfiguring their streets with wheelie bins should desist from doing so.