I suppose we are. However, this week’s blog will not be interesting, at least in the sense of that old Chinese curse – this week, it is a Brexit-free zone.
After that, a late lunch at the St James Tea rooms.
NDT run the Queens Theatre in Barnstaple and the Landmark in Ilfracombe. They also arrange various activities at St Anne’s Art and Community Centre in Barnstaple. Following a deal with North Devon Council, they now effectively own the buildings comprising Queens Theatre and the Landmark. The two theatres put on shows of all kinds ranging from serious plays, ballet, comedies to classical music, current music, nostalgic pop and probably stuff I haven’t mentioned. Basically, at some point in the season, there is something for everyone. In addition, as you can see from what I have said above, they also have activities for the younger generations.
Given that one of the most common complaints I hear about Ilfracombe is that there is not much for our young people to do, NDT are obviously providing a much-needed service. If you can, support them. Go to a show or two, become a Friend or simply make a donation (donations can be made through the gift aid scheme, so, if you are a tax payer, anything you give can generate an extra 25% from the tax man). Details of all this and more can be found on their website https://uk.patronbase.com/_NorthDevonTheatres/Products/Donate
You have probably heard that there are plans to change the refuse service. Options include charging+ for the green bin and moving the black bin collections from fortnightly to three weekly (one every three weeks, not, of course, three a week). Councillor Rodney Cann, NDDC’s Mr Refuse, has been quoted as saying that the aim is to improve the amount of waste recycled. To be fair, the proposals do include removing the restriction on the amount of cardboard that can be left out and a weekly collection of food waste. Of course, the cardboard can be sold and the food waste will be composted and sold back to us as compost. But charging for green bins? That inevitably will lead to fewer green bins. Three-weekly refuse collections? Law-abiding folk – the majority – will take excess to the tip. Even if that is not charged for, there is a cost in time and fuel. Those with less concern for others will dump their refuse in graveyards, parks, other people’s gardens and other people’s bins.
In the end, the effect will be, as it is in so many of local and national governments’ efforts to save money, to shift the expenditure from the state to the individual. This is stupid and ultimately self-defeating. There is a reason why our predecessors decided to make refuse collection a local government matter – if it is not done properly, it becomes a public health issue and costs far more than an effective refuse collection service.
By the time you read this, the issue may well have been decided, as it is to be discussed at a council meeting on 4th July.