I take Emily to York, and at a freezing cold Kings Cross station decide to wait in the first class lounge as I have a first class ticket. I am told that as I have a First Advance rather than a First Open ticket, I have to pay £10 to use the lounge. What? I would have thought £90 for a single to York was quite enough to buy me a smidgeon of comfort.
I receive a letter from Ealing Council threatening to fine me £80 for rubbish left on the street outside my house. This is infuriating because it is mostly not my rubbish, and it consists of flattened cardboard boxes left out for recycling. I send this email to the Council:
As other residents of Whitehall Gardens, we received from you recently a copy of a letter dated 12 August 2009 from Roger Jones, concerning rubbish left in the street for collection on the wrong day.
In fact, the problem in Whitehall Gerdens appears to be with rubbish which was left in the street on the correct day, but which the council have failed to collect. In the street outside out house at the moment is a large collection of cardboard boxes, mostly properly flettened, A small rpoportion of these are our own rubbish, but the majority are from other houses and were colected into a pile by the refuse men two collections ago, but not taken away either then or with today’s collection.
Obviously at Christmas residents receive a large numbers of parcels, and the Council appears to be having some argument of principle over collecting the cartons, even where they have been carefully flattened. Why the Council feels it is an appropriate response just to leave large piles of cardboard in the street is something I would like you to explain to me.
Another strange thing is that, at the first post-Christmas collection, anout four of these centralised piles of cardboard were created by the refuse men but left in the street. They were all still there when I returned home last night. But at today’s collection, three of the four piles were collected but the pile outside our house left again.
Rather than sending threatening letters, it would be a good deal more helpful if you could sort out your collectors’ Scrooge like attitude to dealing with Christmas detritus.
I look forward to your reply, and would also be grateful if you could copy this to the counillor or councillors who represent this ward.
30 Whitehall Gardens
Both my problems with the railway and the refuse collection arise from public services being handed over to private companies whose only interest is profit. The Tories believe more of this is the answer to our edonomic problems. Ha!
(Yes, I know the East Coast railway has just gone back into public hands. But the First Class tickets not valid for the First Class Lounge policy was introduced by National Express just before it lost the franchise).