Get public army to carry out jobs in Hastings

From: Eric Waters, Ingleside Crescent, Lancing

According to Councillor Rob Lee, council officers have stated that services will have to shrink to accommodate the lack of funds in the accounts.

If that is indeed the case then perhaps Hastings Council should look along the coast towards Brighton which has been appealing for volunteers for what it calls it’s ‘Bin Army’. These ‘soldiers’ will be given litter pickers, rubbish bags, gloves, hi-vis vests and first aid kits and be told how and where to collect rubbish.

Having read this I wrote an extremely light-hearted, and I thought hilarious, letter in which I said that was quite a good idea because the more these public-spirited citizens picked up the less there would for the council’s refuse collectors to gather in, which would result in the council being able to slim down its work force and use the cash saved to lower the rate of council tax.

I continued in the same vein by saying that giving volunteers shovels and wheel-barrows full of tarmac to fill up the city’s pot holes, mowers and strimmers to cut down the grass on its over-grown verges and roundabouts, and mops and buckets to clean its public toilets – the possibilities are endless – councils could make enormous savings that would eventually lead to the demise of Council Tax!

However, I must warn Hastings councillors that if they decide to take up Brighton’s idea, and my extensions of it, it will not go down well in some quarters, especially union ones.

A branch secretary of Unison ‘got her knickers in a twist’, by accusing me of, “taking the micky out of a situation where many of the non-statutory duties of the council are falling by the wayside due to austerity cuts to public funding by this awful failing current government”. Some people either just can’t take a joke or, unfortunately for them, are born without a sense of humour!