Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Where's the common sense.

So many people are approaching me about all sorts of issues since I became the Conservative candidate here in Montgomeryshire - more than when I was Assembly Member for Mid and West Wales. When I've been away for a few days, its a job to catch up. I wouldn't mind having Phill back to help. I'm quite surprised by some of the issues. Here's two from today's mail.

First up is the cost of trade refuse disposal. The business concerned wanted to dispose of three domestic sized freezers, one fridge and a grill. The quotation from Powys County Council to collect and dispose of them was £744.50. I had no idea that such huge amounts were being demanded. If I was running a small business, and faced with this sort of expense, I could well be tempted to just leave them somewhere uncollected. What makes it seem so unfair is that the same equipment from a 'domestic' premises are collected and disposed of free of charge. Seems to me that there's quite a large grey area here. Anyone with any suggestions about what advice I should give?

Another issue raised with me today was the need for an Energy Performance Certificate on any property before it can be let - a new requirement from today. This EPC cost £55. Since there is no consequent requirement on the property owner to take any action whatsoever, it seems to me a complete waste of time and money. Anyway, I called in on the letting agent this morning to find out more. I was told that no prospective purchaser had ever asked for sight of any HIPS information or a EPC (which has been reqiuired for a sale for some time) before a property has been sold. We're talking hundredds of sales here. What on earth is the point?

I cannot do anything about either of these issues, except comment on the madness of it all, thus adding in a tiny way to the seething mass of resentment that must surely one day explode and lead to an outbreak of common sense.


Peter Black said...

Domestic refuse collection is a statutory responsibility, commercial waste collection is not, hence the Council is able to charge for it. The business can shop around though and get quotes from other companies to remove the equipment. They do not have to use the Council.

Anonymous said...

refuse removal, someone has to pay, does seem a lot, perhaps the conservative powys memebrs can throw some light on this?
domestic kis free to avoid huge flytipping issues.

as for the epc, its a start - its designed to help the tennant who may rent somewhere and need a small fortune to pay the bills. also, its beginning a long overdueprocess of getting information on the housing stock we have. suggest you look at models elsewhere in the world, australian capitol territories a good example. Its not always a bad idea

Save the planet. said...

Simple answer to the freezer disposal problem.......

Just contact any member of our local 'travelling' community. We will be only too glad to remove the offending items.

Of course, we do not have the added costs of providing risk assessments for every aspect of the job. CRB checks will be unnecessary, Health and Safety considerations have no place in our working practice and consequently, we will be able to provide a quick, efficient and economical service.

A small word of caution to your correspondent. We 'travelling' contractors have been known to be a little over-enthusiastic in our love of the Planet and fervent desire for recycling, in that we may have to be supervised during the operation.

Sometimes we just get carried away, afterall we are 'travellers'.

Glyn Davies said...

peter - I suspect several businesses will find ways to transform 'trade' waste into 'domestic' waste. I understand the reason for the difference in charging policy, but found it difficult to believe it should cost so much.

anon - I accept that an EPC is useful where a property is being sold, but I don't think it has any value when its being let. People cannot afford these extra costs.

Glyn Davies said...

Save the planet - I'll pass it on.

Anonymous said...

glyn, one of the biggest issues with fuel poverty and energy efficiency is the lack of information.
The epc will help in this regard. as for not being able to afford it - a landlord not affording it? come on.

Glyn Davies said...

anon - Not sure why you assume all landlords 'can afford it'. Try reading the financial press. You will learn tha the buy-to-let market is in a desperate state. And try asking estate agents how many potential tenants have looked at an EPC. Theoretically defendable - but practically useless.