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Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Art in Progress at Kilburn Library

I like the way Anya Beaumont, the resident artist at Kilburn Library, puts work in progress on her website.  Having an artist in residence is a new departure for Brent Library service.  As well as supporting our arts strategy, it may help draw people into the libraries who don't generally use them.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Road Safety In Kensal Green Schools

Princess Frederica primary school currently has a consultation underway to install a zebra crossing on College Road, just below the railway bridge. I hope it goes ahead, as I think it would improve safety at a difficult junction. When I went to John Keble school recently, I was quizzed about safety at their crossing.  This is a more complicated situation.

The school crossing patrol person is retiring and the Council does not want to pay for a replacement, because the traffic lights at that part of Manor Park Road make the street safer to cross than many others. The school has also indicated that it does not want to pay for a replacement either.  However, traffic flows in the area are subject to a lot of change because of the works on Harlesden Town Centre.  This is likely to alter traffic flows, especially in and out of the Harlesden Tesco car park.  The question is precisely what are those effects, and how can the detailed scheme design mitigate them?

Monday, 29 October 2012

Poppy Appeal

Yesterday, I was on the train when a fellow passenger asked me what all the flowers were for.  She was referring to the poppy in my lapel. As she was (by her accent) American, there is no reason why she would know, but it was a jolt to me to find how localised such a familiar thing as the poppy appeal is.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Kensal Rise Library Post

An anonymous commentator to this post puts an entirely reasonably set of queries.  For the moment, I won't respond. This is for two reasons. Firstly, it is obviously a considered post and (although I believe I have dealt with the points before), it deserves a considered response. Secondly, the recent news on Kensal Rise library (that it is to be sold to a developer) means that anything I write is likely to be used for an unintended meaning, as has happened before.

Thus, I am holding off for now, but will return to the issue.


The only record I have of a comment previously from Ms N was published here.


This post seems to have attracted a lot of traffic.  I have therefore summarised my view on Brent libraries strategy here.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Council Tax Zugzwang

As well as the Council Tax Support scam that has been in the news recently, the present government is further undermining local finances by effectively eliminating the ability to change tax levels.  The current capping on rises and the introduction of referendums for "excessive" rises make alterations to the Council Tax almost impossible.  The allocation of one off grants in return for a freeze builds a long term weakness in authority finances, but are virtually impossible to refuse.

The end result is that the present government has done more to undermine local democracy than any other government, despite it's rhetoric claiming precisely the contrary.

Friday, 26 October 2012

IFS on Council Tax Support

I decried the craziness of the government's late offer of "help" on Council Tax Support a few days ago.  The Institute for Fiscal Studies has now made the same point in a new report.

Willesden Junction Station Approach Timescale

I failed to mention in my post on Station Approach that the projected timescale of work starts in March next year and finishes in June.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

David Cameron Fighting Austerity

Adam Bienkov reminds us of David Cameron's time as an anti-austerity warrior.  One wonders why he has not had the same kind of political punishment that was handed out to Nick Clegg over tuition fees.

Krugman Condemns Osborne

Paul Krugman has condemned George Osborne's handling of the economic crisis.  Sadly, I see no defence. Osborne is responsible for a huge amount of misery. A rather more important issue than an illicit train ticket upgrade.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Tubbs Pocket Park Artwork

Some may recall that in the distance past, Tubbs Road Pocket Park was upgraded.  Part of the planned investment was for a steel bird table by Helena Roden.  This never actually arrived, although a concrete base was installed for it some time ago.  However, I understand that the table was constructed, and I have finally managed to track it down. It should be installed at some point in November.  I am glad it is finally getting here,but it really should not have taken that length of time.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Grim London Housing

The grim state of the London housing market is covered by the Evening Standard today.  What I find even more worrying is that our politics seem to totally fail to address these issues.  Without a sigmificant increase in housing our already unaffordable rents will continue to spiral. Yet Boris Johnson simply claims credit for delivering the pipeline of homes that Ken Livingstone bequeathed him without himself addressing him.  The government has been systematically dismantling social housing so that the "affordable" housing in a new development is now usually a complete misnomer.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Kilburn Library Under Fives

I was amazed to be told that the average attendance for an under fives session at the refurbished Kilburn Library is about 95 people (both children and adults).  It looks as if the refitted Library is rapidly establishing itself as one of our most successful.

Park House Demolition

I see that the demolition of Park House on Manor Park Road is underway. It is good to see that some building projects are still going ahead despite the dragging semi-slump that has followed the Tory government's austerity programme.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Book Issues Outside Buildings

Looking at the most recent data on Brent library issues, I notice that more than a quarter of book issues do not involve visiting buildings in Quarter 2 this year (i.e. July to September).  Taken together, the outreach service and the home library service have issued more books than have gone out from Harlesden Library.  That is quite a stark demonstration of how outreach and online services are becoming more and more important.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Summer Reading Challenge Success

This year's Summer Reading Challenge had even more joiners and completers than last year.  Last year, Brent Libraries attracted 4,244 joiners compared to 4,344 this year.  The rise in completers was even better, with 1,974 finishing six books last year compared to 2,313 this year.  This is a huge achievement by the Brent Library staff.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Council Tax Support

The government's most recent manoeuvre over Council Tax strikes me as even more cynical than usual.  The announcement of what makes a good scheme in the government's opinion comes so late that many Councils simply won't be able to change their plans.  But, in any case, wasn't the point of "localism" supposed to be getting each authority to design their own schemes? How does that square with then announcing a new central set of demands? What makes it even more bizarre is that the parliamentary statement ignores what the government has previously announced as a prime concern, encouraging people into work.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Harlesden Waste Plant

There has been some disquiet about a proposed waste plant in the Ealing part of Park Royal.  This obviously raises questions over transport and good neighbour concerns.  It has been wrongly put about that Brent Planning officers have not been concerned about these.  In fact, Brent Planning officers have already had informal contacts.  A formal response has not yet been sent in but it will be ahead of the deadline.  Again, contrary to some of the rumours going round, Ealing have written to about 1,000 Brent residents in the area south of Harlesden High Street.

The relevant Planning Authority of course is Ealing, and the case officer is Peter Lee (

The site is currently industrial land, and has a number of uses.  The developers claim that the transport movements will be reduced by replacing these with the new plant.  I am still waiting to see if Brent's transport experts agree. Similarly, Brent's environmental health staff are examining the emissions data.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Kensal Green Puzzle

An anonymous commentator has suggested I use derogatory terms about local residents at the bottom of this post.  Having reread the post, I can't see anything derogatory.  As far as I can see s/he is complaining about a point of view that they don't like.

Can anyone explain to me otherwise?

I am always happy to publish comments provided that they are not libellous or offensive, but it seems to me that some people simply can't take a different point of view.


Thank you to the anonymous commentators.  As promised, provided comments are not offensive or libellous, I have published them.

The statistics used are all valid.  The process gone through, as a result of the litigants' legal action, was examined exhaustively.  The text of the judgement in High Court is on the side bar next to this post.  I have attended numerous public and private meetings on this subject, over a period adding up to many hours.  The litigants were unable to prove their case in court, or through the political process.

Brent Libraries service is now going ahead with the agreed strategy.  This strategy has had a number of successes, often enumerated in this blog.

I think that the key thing that those of us who do not directly work in Brent Library service can best do now is to support the library staff in their role in promoting library services around the Borough.

Responding to the last comment to date, my previous post explicitly refers to the 12 libraries and compares to the six.  The comparison (again) is that visits in September this year were only 1.5% down on September last year.  My view is that, after an admittedly rocky period in October to April, our libraries are definitely on the way up and anyone who believes in library services should celebrate the fact.

School Finance Problems

Some of the problems facing school finace can be found here.  This is obviously a major national problem that affects schools across the country that have effectively been targeted in scams. It is notable that free schools are felt to be more vulnerable to such deals than standard schools.  The whole move to less and less authority supervision has simply gone too far as there just aren't adequate safeguards for public money.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Red Velvet

I went to see Red Velvet at the Tricycle this evening, which is the most extraordinary production I have seen in a long while.  It is a brilliantly successful combination of comedy, tragedy and racial politics.  A really impressive combination of good writing and acting.

Cautionary Tale on Procurement

Yesterday, the Independent carried a story about the government debacle meant on rail franchises.  It suggested that the stripping out of senior staff had gone so far that the department was no longer able to manage contract awards competently.  This entirely plausible argument demonstrates how self defeating the government's austerity programme has become.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Fairtrade Artwork by Kensal Green Tube

I forgot to publish the Fairtrade picture that I promised.  Here it is.  In terms of the number of people who see it, it should be as good as a billboard.

John Keble School

Greatly enjoyed my visit to John Keble primary school this morning for their school assembly as part of Local Democracy Week.  I was particularly impressed by how well behaved all the children were.

Volunteer Libraries in Lewisham

Lewisham were somewhat ahead of us in tackling their library service. Like Brent, they had to cope with financial cutbacks, but unlike us they have tried going down the volunteer route.  The results seem to have been less than successful.  The volunteer libraries languish at the bottom of the figures as Lewisham's least popular.  The linked report particularly looks at Blackheath, which has the lowest usage of all.  The quoted figures show a fall of 80% as a volunteer run library compared to the former Council run facility.  This is despite the charity that took it over being given £200k to run it.  That kind of money to run a facility using by about 1,000 people per month doesn't sound like good value for money.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

St Marks Church Kensal Green

I am glad to see that St Marks Church Kensal Green has finally finished its building project. A small part df the cost of this came from Kensal Green ward working funds.  The work means a new kitchen, a redecorated Church Hall, new replacement toilets, and most importantly the introduction of a disabled toilet for the first time.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Libraries Transformation Update

The most recent figures for Brent Library visits and issues are now available.  The most recent quarter (July to September) shows a 17% rise in issues, and a 5.2% rise in visits compared to the same period last year.  This is despite Kilburn Library being closed between 22 May and 10 September for its refurbishment.  Indeed, the most startling figure in the report is the increase in visit numbers at Kilburn Library this September compared to September last year.  There has been a 106% jump despite, the library being open for only 21 days in September.

Altogether, I am surprised at how the Libraries Transformation has made such a big difference so quickly.  I was expecting a slower rate of progress.  Partly this is because I imagined that there would be a falling off in visits at our biggest library in Willesden during the redevelopment there.  Although we have designed a robust interim service, interim services tend not to attract the same footfall as a permanent facility.  The delay in the redevelopment means that this effect has yet to be fully felt. 

I expect a second major effect when the new Wembley Library opens in June next year.  This will be in the most prominent parts of the Civic Centre, and I expect it to rapidly become one of the most popular libraries in the UK.

The figures seem to me to confirm the strategy we decided to pursue.  Contrary to some people's expectation, people are willing to travel to our libraries.  We seem to have a better record than areas like Hertfordshire, which went down the route of cutting opening hours (although I suspect travelling to another branch is harder in Hertfordshire).  I suspect that our decision to protect and enhance the bookstock in each library is also important in maintaining their attractiveness.

The litigants of course, asked the opposite question.  They asked why numbers fell upon the closure of the libraries on 11 October last year.  The answer to that is multiple. 

Firstly, it was always the case that there would be a period of adjustment from one system to the other.  The litigants prolonged this somewhat, so that we weren't able to start to fully implement our system until quite a long way into 2012.  The legal action did not end until February, whereupon the litigants instantly decided to threaten the Secretary of State with legal action.  This obviously created some uncertainity for Brent Libraries Service, which was only fully lifted when the new Secretary of State announced there would be no inquiry in September

Secondly, we were hampered with getting on with key parts of our offer.  Most noticeably, we did not have full access to our bookstock until late May.  Again, this was partly the result of legal objections. 

Thirdly, many elements of the strategy require time to develop.  The school library card scheme seems to me to have the potential to be a highly effective innovation, but it takes time to get schools to partner and develop the model.  Other parts of the strategy, such as outreach, the online offer, services for the housebound, free legal advice, high quality promotions, online courses, and physical refurbishments all take time. 

A fourth reason that has been suggested to me, although it is not a proveable statement either way, is that the huge negative publicity that the litigants generated in itself damaged library usage.  Partly this would be through deterring the public, and partly by demoralising the staff.  This may be true.  I am sure that had we gone down the route of cutting opening hours and hollowing out the service, the effect would have been immensely demoralising for both staff and customers alike.


In response to the comments, the overall visits this September are about 1.5% down from September last year.  I suspect that if I had said a year ago that Brent libraries would be only 1.5% down in visits with six libraries than with 12 I would have been disbelieved.  The Harrow Observer story refers to a different set of numbers.  My point is that the dip immediately after the closures is now being reversed as we have started to progress the strategy. 

Friday, 12 October 2012

Willesden Junction and Station Approach

The proposed enhancement to Station Approach seems to have led to confusion, not least at the Brent Connects event the other day.

After much lobbying, a scheme costing about £600k has been put together. Most of this is from Network Rail for embankment work. However Brent Council and TfL are also contributing to resurface the road and improve the pavement. Although the site is in Hammersmith, Brent is contributing because more than 90% of users come from the Brent side (I.e. northern) side.  Therefore it is proposed to widen the northern pavement, and remove those dreadful railings that force people into the middle of the road and thereby endanger pedestrians rather than help them.  Most of the southern pavement will be removed to allow room for vehicles, although the Station Road And Station Approach junction will have a lowered kerb type arrangement to allow crossing.

The whole scheme should bring a major improvement for pedestrian safety, which I have been campaigning for for some years.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Highways Committee Tonight

This evening I shall be going to the Highways Committee, where the main item appears to be the concerns about parking in Harlesden Town Centre.  I am surprised that parking does not get more publicity, given that lots of people are closely affected and we are implementing far reaching changes not just in Harlesden and Kensal Green, but across Brent.

Does the Government have a Clue?

I can't decide whether the Tory / Liberal Democrat government has a cunning plan to distract its opponents with a bewildering array of initiatives, or whether they are just a bunch of wallis.  We have extreme liberalisation for planning regulations for major developments or household expansion.  This is supposed to release pent up economic energies. At the same time, the Localism Act allows for a six month delay to property disposals if "the community" regards it as a community asset. This is likely to curtail those same entrepreneurs whose property developments are supposedly coming to our rescue.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Brent Council Procurement Dilemma

I have been thinking more about Brent Council's procurement policies, which seem to set up a fundamental question for us.  A little while ago, I went to training on the subject, which turned out to be exceptionally interesting. 

Previously, I had been worried about the possibilities of legal action, which still concern me.  The requirements of the Social Value Act, the Localism Act and the longstanding EU procurement rules all give plenty of tripwires for local Councils to fall over. 

Changes in EU procurement have made suing public bodies a much more profitable exercise.  The old way of doing things meant that if you successfully challenged a procurement as being unfair, the process had to be rerun.  This didn't particularly advantage the company making the challenge.  The new situation is that a successful challenger can be awarded the profits it would have made had it won the contract.  Legal challenges are thereby encouraged, and I have heard rumours that some companies are building a number of challenges into their business models.

However, the bigger challenge is to using procurement policy to encourage the local economy in Brent.  This is a key objective of Brent Labour Party, but it runs into a difficult choice.  Certain measures, such as designing contracts in smaller lots to make them open to smaller companies (i.e. the kind that might be based in Brent), could lead to a higher cost for the taxpayer.  Failing to achieve all possible savings in procurement means finding savings elsewhere in the Budget.  In other words, seeking to design procurement policy to benefit local companies may well end up in deeper cuts to public services and hurt Brent residents as service users.

A difficult choice.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Brent Connects at All Souls Church

Brent Connects is the new name given to the former Area Consultative Forums (ACFs) as part of an effort to reform the Council's consultations that my Labour colleague Cllr Lesley Jones has been leading. 

The first meeting under the new name occurs at All Souls Church in Harlesden High Street at 7pm tonight.  Topics include the future of A&E at Central Middlesex Hospital and an update on Station Approach outside Willesden Junction _ a subject I have been campaigning on for years.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Brent Civic Centre and BREEAM Status

I asked for a more systematic account of the environmental benefits of Brent Council's new Civic Centre.  I got back an extremely impressive list of the full range of benefits.  This is what I was sent: 


Energy efficiency measures introduced to the building will reduce carbon emissions by 33 per cent. Total energy improvements over Building Regulations are >65
Total energy consumption is estimated to be 93.5kWh/m2 comparative to 220kWh/m2 for a conventional similar building.
Regulated energy is estimated to produce carbon emissions in the order of 13 kgCo2/m2.
Specific measures include
• Passive design, such as orientation, natural ventilation and a highly efficient building fabric, which maximises daylight at the same time as providing shade from solar penetration;

• Energy efficient measures, such as voltage optimisation, mixed mode ventilation, heat recovery (MVHR), sub metering and an intelligent Building Management System (BMS)

• Design of effective external shading on the dominantly East and West elevations reduces cooling requirements. The use of daylighting to replace artificial lighting, which also reduces the need for cooling in summer.

• Zoned lighting and movement sensors in lighting will be implemented.

• Low energy lighting solutions throughout the building.

• Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRVs) will be provided for all heating and cooling devices.

• Low energy IT solutions through the building using the latest low energy devices.

• Low energy consuming audio visual equipment.

• Air source heat pumps absorb heat from outside air and release it inside during winter, and the converse in summer. Offer central heating solution and domestic hot water up to 80°C.

• A CCHP system using Waste fish oil will be used on site.

• Hand dryers are energy efficient models. Minimal use of paper towels within building.

• Multi-functional devices (MFD’s) will be energy efficient and use ‘colorcube’ technology which reduces toner waste.
• Low flow aerated taps or spray taps for wash basins with a flow rate of 6 l/min as opposed to standard taps, which consume about 12 litres/min of water

• All WC's will be either dual flush or have an effective flush volume of 3 Litres or less and be specified with a delayed action inlet valve to reduce water consumption.

• Urinals will be either fitted with presence detectors to control flushing or will be ultra low flush or waterless.

• Showers with a flow rate of less than 9 litres/min or less, as opposed to standard showers, which use about 14 litres/min.

• Sub-metering

• A rainwater storage tank with a volume of 75m3 for harvesting rainwater for use in flushing WC’s and for irrigation.
Construction Waste
The following targets are required on site:

• Non-hazardous construction waste generated will be less than 9.2m3 or less than 4.7 tonnes per 100m2 of gross internal floor area

• 90% by weight or 80% by volume of non-hazardous construction waste generated by the project will be diverted from landfill

• 95% by weight or 85% by volume of non-hazardous demolition waste will be diverted from landfill
Operational waste
• Envac pipework installed beneath the basement slab to allow for the future connection to the wider Wembley City infrastructure.

• Organic waste, comprising food waste generated from office and catering activities and potentially any green waste generated from internal green spaces (e.g. Community Hall Winter Garden), will be composted.

• Compactor facility in basement for reducing waste volumes.
• 80% of all materials within the External Walls; Internal Walls; Roof; Upper Floor Slabs; Windows; and Floor Finishes/ Coverings (by total area), are either ‘A’ or ‘A+’ rated under The Green Guide to Specification, 2008”. At least 50% of all materials within these elements have received either an ‘A’ or ‘A+’ rating.

• The design team will aim for over 80% of materials in building and finishing elements to be responsibly sourced.

• Over 80% of the timber is FSC certified, or Chain of Custody certified.
• A green transport plan has been developed

• 150 cycle spaces for an estimated 2300 building users, and 100 cycle spaces for visitors. 17 showers for building users will be provided (8x male, 8x female and 1x disabled)

• 47 electric vehicle charging points within basement car park

• Travel information point in building foyer with information on local train, tube and bus departure times.

• Excellent local public transport links.

• Landscaped garden planted with carefully selected naturalistic, drought tolerant species

• An indoor winter garden will be provided

• 180m2 of Green roofs will be provided above the building cores

• Bat boxes and bird boxes will be provided for a range of nesting birds such as the Black Redstart.

• Planters will be provided around the site and within the building.

Internal Environment

Daylight: The atrium and ‘drum’ area are covered with ETFE, a semi-opaque, light material which allows daylight in without the exposure that glass provides. In addition, it is 1% the weight of glass. 80% of the development has been designed to achieve a minimum daylight factor of 2-3% as a minimum.

• Comfort: Occupant control for heating and cooling systems and lighting have been specified. Automatic detection systems and daylight sensors for lighting have been specified. Finishing elements and fixtures with low volatile organic compound (VOC) content will be used throughout the development.

• Light Pollution: External night time lighting for the site has been designed to minimise the intensity of each light source in potentially obtrusive directions beyond the site boundaries.

• The Brent Civic Centre proposal was subject to a period of consultation with key stakeholders including members of the public, community representatives, interest groups and staff from March 2008 to October 2009.

• Community garden.

• The design for the Brent Civic Centre has embraced inclusiveness.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

3D Printing and Copyright

The Economist has an interesting piece around the copyright complications of 3D printing.  Using this technology in a way that safeguards copyright might be a way in which libraries could play a role.

Housing Depression

While trying to look on the bright side on various issues, it becomes difficult when you look at the state of London homelessness.  Brent is managing its B+B for the moment, but it is overwhelmingly likely that there will be a huge surge over the coming year, and it may well take many years to claw back the position. Meanwhile, government ministers simply appear to want to shuffle the blame rather than prevent the problem.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Tubbs Road Pocket Park Water Supply

I have had confirmation that ward working is paying for a water connection to Tubbs Road pocket park as soon as Thames Water engineers are ready.  Hopefully this will enhance the quality of the park.

Virtual and Real

I find the way the virtual world and the real world overlap still rather disconcerting, but they do, and people have started studying it.  Like it or not, the pace of change is accelerating and all institutions, including local government, have to adapt.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Fairtrade Art in Hazel Road Open Space

We are finally installing the Fairtrade artwork that Ward Working commissioned last year.  This is one of those projects that has been subject to all sorts of delays and snarl ups.  The idea was to have a Fairtrade logo made from recycled plastic visible to the huge numbers of people who pass down the Harrow Road near Kensal Green Tube.  The artwork is located in Hazel Road Open Space.

Although the project was approved ages ago, it is newly topical.  Fairtrade can be seen as a form of predistribution, which Ed Miliband has suggested could be the next Big Idea for the Labour Party going into the next General Election.

Queens Park Exposure

I notice my colleague Cllr James Denselow is planning to expose himself in Queens Park for the benefit of local residents.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Coalition Government Failing by Design

The former Cabinet Secretary has attacked the current government for denuding itself of ability, resulting in the current rail franchise fiasco.  What he doesn't say is that this is not happenstance, but a deliberate part of the plan.  The more inept government seems, the more people will lose faith in it and adopt the old private good, public bad mantra.

The problem for the likes of David Cameron is that, as the public sector employees responsible for the government as a whole, they inevitably share the blame.

Brent Council Mortuary

This morning I am going up to look at Brent Council's mortuary service at Northwick Park Hospital.  This is a shared service with Haringey, and we are looking at developing our co-operation with other London Boroughs.  It is one of those neighbourhood services that I suspect many people are completely unaware the Council runs.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Barham Park Future Options

This morning I am going up to Barham Park to look at the plans to develop the park.  This follows from the Executive decision in March to do a feasibility study on its future.  That was the same meeting where Cllr Paul Lorber confessed that Barham Park had suffered "years of neglect" under his leadership.  Indeed the only proposal I can recall for Barham Park during his leadership was to build on it

By contrast, we want to improve it as green space and a source of biodiversity.  The main problem is that the financial climate is much less benign than when Cllr Lorber was in control.  Therefore, we will have to take an incremental approach as and when we can obtain funding.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Alternate Weekly Collections Confirmed

Confirmation that Eric Pickles attempt to reintroduce weekly landfill collections have failed comes from Materials Recycling Week.  The magazine did a survey of all English Councils and found only one had applied for money to return to a weekly service for landfill.  The Civil servants must have seen this coming, as they swiftly broadened the fund to apply to food waste collections as well, so at least something will come out of the Pickles vanity project.

Why is the prospect of returning to weekly collections so unattractive?  Firstly, it goes against the established trend of the waste hierarchy , which is designed to reduce waste and increase the recycling of what waste is produced.  Increasing the number of landfill collections simply encourages a throw away society.  Secondly, rubbish collections need a long term infrastructure of vehicles, bins and public education.  A one off grant from a hopefully here today and gone tomorrow politician like Eric Pickles is not something anyone organising such contracts would want to rely on.

Ebook Piracy

Some interesting answers to problems of ebook piracy here.  It really is essential to solve this problem if libraries are to survive.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Recycling Publicity

A recent WRAP article reminds us of the importance of communications.  This is a widely ignored issue in local government. A huge amount of what Councils now do is about behaviour change. This is not political. Reducing landfill, promoting public health, reducing litter etc. are all heavily dependent on communications but should be pretty much non partisan. Why the myths about Council propaganda?