Tower Hamlets Bin Strike
Veolia runs the bin collections contract for Tower Hamlets. Refuse collectors were on strike from 9th-16th March as Veolia has withheld holiday pay which was due to them.
A few days ago 41 bin lorries suffered criminal damage overnight, and had to be repaired. The police are investigating.
The refuse collection strike seems likely to continue. The East London Advertiser reports that food and garden waste collections will be suspended this week.
Tower Hamlets Council say they will be bringing the bin collections in house later this year.
Council Workers to Strike
In a separate dispute I read that around 4,000 workers in Tower Hamlets will be on strike from Tues 24th March. An article in the Socialist Worker says, “Council bosses said they are going to sack and re-engage workers on worse contracts in April.” Writing in East London Advertiser, Mike Brooke says, “Town Hall staff have already been issued with 12 weeks’ notice of dismissal which runs out on April 13. They will be out of a job on Easter Monday if they don’t accept the new contract.”
TV Licence Update
A few days ago the BBC said that it’s extending free TV licences to the over 75s until Aug 1st.
When the increase in the TV licence fee to £157.50 was recently announced, an article headed “The BBC is no longer the much-loved broadcaster we all grew up with” was published in The Sun. In it Tony Parsons said, “The young folk born this century, like my 17-year-old daughter, do not watch it.”
Last month BBC Chairman, Sir David Clementi said the BBC is one of the nation’s greatest assets and “we need to remind ourselves what exactly is at stake” if the licence fee is scrapped. A week ago he said, “The majority of people over-75 – who are by far the largest users of the BBC …” Oops – he’s highlighted the problem. I can’t see the licence fee lasting to 2027. The world has changed, and more people will have shifted across to other platforms by then. They’ll just stop paying the licence fee.
The TV Licensing website said that in 2017 “The average person spent 3 hours 32 minutes a day watching broadcast TV.” I can see that it’s in their interest, and in the interest of the highly paid people in the BBC to claim that. It doesn’t ring true to me – somebody needs to look into their methodology. If the BBC really is the nation’s favourite broadcaster it would earn more money from the subscription model. I wonder why they don’t want to do that? I understand that the iPlayer already has the software built into it to charge users.
I’m watching very funny and stylish 1960s French and Italian films on the BFI Player (British Film Institute) at the moment. I’m paying a £4.99 a month, £100 a year less than the BBC.
Geezers Meetings Suspended
The Geezers Club is closed at present due to both Coronavirus and Tredegar Community Centre being redecorated. It’s not known when they’ll be able to meet again.
Four Seasons Green – your thoughts please