Thursday, November 03, 2011

You couldn’t make it up - Council red tape at its best

The Council was due to collect a fridge freezer from outside my house on 1st November.  I had booked the special collection via their very good online service and received an email confirming that it would indeed be picked up on said date.
The evening before I had it carried down the steps from the back door where it had been hitherto stored and placed at the front of the house where I leave my recycling and black bags every week.
When I returned from work the fridge was still there, and on contacting the Council department responsible I was told that it wasn’t collected because it was on my property and not on the public highway.   I explained that my house is a detached house with a driveway that slopes down onto the road and that there was not pavement on to which I could place it.  I also queried the fact that they actually wanted me to place it on the public highway where it would be a danger to pedestrians.  The lady on the line confirmed that this was indeed the case.
I emailed customer services to ask them if they could confirm why it had not been collected and received the following response:        
"I have today checked the case notes and can advise that the crew called at 13:22 and reported back to the depot to inform them that the item was not out for collection. Items need to be placed at the normal bin collection point by 7am on the day of collection."
Now as the photograph below shows the item was placed on the edge of my property within inches of the pavement.  The ‘pavement’ such as it is slopes away at this point  as it provides access to my drive, and it would be impossible to place a fridge there.
This is surely bureaucracy gone mad.  The Council seriously want me to place it on the pavement in the path of anyone walking past?  I could have understood if the item had been hidden or if they had to walk up a path to get to it, but here?  How could they interpret this as being ‘not out for collection’?  The collection has been rearranged for next Tuesday – the good people of Wern Street need to watch out for a fridge freezer lying in the road.

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