Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Wheelie bin update

Jon Hunt proposed a motion in the city council last night "regretting" Labour's hasty decision to introduce wheelie bins and calling for a proper census of residents to find out whether they can manage this three-bin plan or not.

This link tells you what happened:

You can view the "debate" on wheelie bins here. The debate starts after about 7 minutes. Earlier on several councillors had asked for extra time for the debate with limited success:

and here:

The Evening Mail today has carried a head to head debate piece between Jon Hunt and cabinet member Cllr James McKay on the subject

And finally here are the stats that back up our case. It seems the proponent of wheelie bins don't understand the history of Birmingham.

Proportion of private homes built in the 1920s and 1930s:
England: 18%
Birmingham 34%

Proportion of private homes built after 1965:
England 40%
Birmingham 27%
Source: City council housing department document 2010 based on national HCSC surveys.

The fact is that Birmingham expanded massively in the inter-war years as the city's industry boomed on the back of car and motorbike production. It is truly different from elsewhere in the UK

The city expanded its boundaries in almost every direction and building companies moved into build affordable homes on the land that became available. That is the real Birmingham and is also the history of Great Barr and Perry Barr.

It also means the number of streets unsuitable for wheelie bins is likely to be far greater than the council planners seem to think.

This fascinating website gives an insight into the building techniques that were used: Can any local historian come up with a more specific account?

As Jon Hunt said: the builders almost certainly did not use heavy earth moving equipment. They built up the hillsides and dug foundations into them. And although the city may not seem as hilly as say Sheffield or Bristol in fact it has three rivers and plenty of hills in between them.

Watch live video from bcc_meetings on