Travels inspired by the Wombles

Sunday, 5 May 2013

New Wombles in 2014?

A couple of weeks ago, the Guardian carried interviews with Mike Batt and Bernard Cribbins for a feature 'How we made The Wombles'.

It's a great read - and buried deep within the piece is this little comment from Batt (the underlined words are my emphasis):

"The show took up two years of my 40-year career, yet I'm still known as the man who wrote the Wombles. I used to find this irksome: I once described them as a furry anvil round my neck. But now I realise they were more of a furry balloon, and I'm currently working on a new series for 2014. Time has taught me what a wonderful legacy those little creatures are."

This doesn't say whether it's radio or TV, or where such a series might be broadcast.  But keep your furry fingers crossed for new Wombles next year...

A letter from the Senior Office (Waste)

We received a letter the other week from the Senior Office (Waste) of our local council.  The Senior Office (Waste) is apparently part of something called the Joint Waste Service.  Now there's a title which could be misunderstood...

Anyway, the letter itself, and the information which came with it, was encouraging for those who are keen on recycling.  Up to now, we've received a supply of black sacks in which to put general rubbish including food - collected weekly - and a flat rectangular box into which to put paper waste, which is collected fortnightly.  At some point in June or July, this service will upgrade to:
  • A food waste wheelie bin, with a silver kitchen caddy into which to collect scraps and leftovers - with weekly collections
  • A black wheelie bin for general rubbish (which 'might include nappies securely tied in a bag, cat litter securely tied in a bag, plastic wrapping and polystyrene packaging and broken crockery or glass securely tied in a bag') - fortnightly collections
  • A flat rectangular box for paper and cardboard - fortnightly collections, as now
  • For £28 per year, a new garden waste wheelie bin for leaves and grass cuttings, trimmings and prunings, weeds, shrubs, flowers, dead plants, small branches (thumb width size) and even rabbit and guinea pig bedding - fortnightly collections
The £28 is an introductory offer which expires at the end of May - no doubt the charge will increase after that date.  'Charging for this collection will enable us to fund continuous improvements to the recycling service,' says the covering letter.  The overall aim is to recycle 60% of waste by 2015.

It certainly seems to represent an improved service although, to be fair, there is a line of (usually full or close to full) recycling boxes in a car park across the road, and a very useful tip a few miles away.  Our local council is not renowned for being dynamic; it frequently gives the collective impression of just wanting the local populace to leave it alone. Whether other services are being reduced to pay for all this is not clear to me.  Similarly, whether 60% is an ambitious target or actually rather a low one is a question which would need some research to answer.  But overall this initiative seems to be, as Sellar and Yeatman might put it, a Good Thing.