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Councillor's anger over CCTV of bin lorry row

By The Citizen  |  Posted: October 04, 2012

Chris Witts

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A COUNCILLOR was shocked to hear CCTV footage of a dispute with a bin lorry driver had been viewed without his knowledge.

The recycling lorry blocked Councillor Chris Witts' path for a few minutes near his Elmbridge home and after he took it up with the driver, he complained to the cabinet member responsible.

He was then told by an officer the incident had been recorded on CCTV.

"The lorry was ahead of me in the road," he said. "I wanted to move on. It moved up a length, and stopped again. I got out and said 'Do you like wasting my petrol?' and told him I didn't like what had happened.

"I wrote to the council to ask what customer relations training the bin lorry staff have and they wrote back saying they were aware of the incident as it had been filmed.

"I appreciate why CCTV is on the lorries but using it like this is too much like big brother."

He raised the issue at a full council meeting.

"How much can be recorded on a recycling truck?" said the Liberal Democrat member for Elmbridge.

Councillor Kathy Williams, (C, Longlevens), cabinet member for environment, said: "It's for safety purposes and in the event of an insurance claim," she replied.

A city council spokeswoman said signs on the lorries tell those around them that CCTV is recording.

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  • CTFCScout  |  October 05 2012, 7:33AM

    More like Witts-less! Time to replace the fossils who run err ruin Gloucester with fresh young blood and people with enthusiasm, honesty and dedication. Witts, Waddington and co can **** off

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  • SteveAA  |  October 04 2012, 9:56PM

    This is a lot like the recent furore over the Chief Whip at Downing Street who swore at the police on the gate. Yet another elected individual who thinks they are way above the normal working citizen. Before long he will be calling for a police escort with blue flashing lights to get him to wherever he is going incase the "plebs" who empty the bins get in his way again How dare they!!

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  • Takeaway22  |  October 04 2012, 8:36PM

    Why is Councillor Chris Witts sooo annoyed? Is it because he was caught out? Is it really worth the attention of a full council meeting? Can you imagine if he was caught on tape saying the pl.b word? Can Councillor Chris Witt really be full of his own self importance? Did he really think that the lorries were really out to 'waste his petrol'? Has this 'councillor' finally shown his true colours? Many many questions from a simple meeting with a bin lorry.

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  • bonzaharris1  |  October 04 2012, 8:19PM

    Thats what bin lorries do, isn't it .... empty a couple of bins, move along a few yards, stop, empty a couple more bins, move another couple of yards then stop etc etc. What did this arrogant twerp expect them to do. We all get stuck behind bin lorries on bin day at some time or other, get over it. As for having CCTV on these lorries, I expect it is in the best interests of the bin men for when they get grief from people like Councillor Witts, and then end up being wrongly being blamed for any inappropriate behaviour they have had to suffer during the course of doing their job.

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  • Walker100  |  October 04 2012, 5:38PM

    Hello_TiG, issue a county court claim, easily done using the money claim on line facility. Burden of proof is "balance of probability". I think you'll find they'll settle before it gets that far.

  • TimMessanger  |  October 04 2012, 4:44PM

    Thatcher who "made" the councils privatise their waste collection and disposal operations and we have been paying ever since with the like of Enterpri$e, councils where they tried to keep the collection and disposal of waste "in-house" where accused of unfair bias in the bidding process and where taken to court and where forced to let a company take over the operations. Sieg Heil Margret Thatcher, kann die Regel der thacherism letzten 1000 Jahre!

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  • Hello_TiG  |  October 04 2012, 4:39PM

    FreeRadical1 - re 'boxing up'. Yes, the Enterprise supervisors were honest enough to admit the crews should not have been doing it and funnily enough, they stopped doing it the following week. I had noticed the prevalance of broken glass in the road over previous weeks when I came home but happened to be at home the day I witnessed the actual practice. Only the most hard-of-thinking would fail to connect what I saw thre crew doing with the broken jar in the road moments after the wagon left, yet that's exactly what Enterprise did. They wouldn't entertain the thought of reimbursing me the £64 incurred through their blatant negligence and corner-cutting, therefore I would complain load and hard if I saw it again and would advise you to do the same!

  • Bonkim2003  |  October 04 2012, 3:51PM

    FreeRadical1 - Poor quality glass is just £10/te so if these guys start sorting it out kerbside at huge waste of time, something wrong with the management. Whilst one needs to reduce landfill - it all depends on cost of collection and final disposal/treatment, also sale value of the recycled items. Looking at civil servants in high places cocking up the rail contract - what chances have we of the puny local councils to have the brains to organise cost and environmentally effective waste management? Do you rate councillors much to have confidence they are monitoring council performance/fvalue for money in anything?

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  • FreeRadical1  |  October 04 2012, 3:37PM

    A few years ago, I attended a full meeting of Gloucester City Council, at which Chris Witts blew his top about some trivial slight. It was hilarious. I've had no respect for him since then - not that I have a massive amount of respect for councillors in general, but his reaction to some tiny provocation was absolutely ridiculous. This latest complaint is similarly making him look a twonk, but this time in front of thousands of people. As to Hello TiG's comment: Enterprise used to do that 'boxing up' nonsense where I live, with the same problem of broken glass getting everywhere. They only stopped it this year. I didn't know that they weren't supposed to do it, or I'd have complained. I don't see how it saves any time anyway.

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  • Bonkim2003  |  October 04 2012, 3:12PM

    Hello_TiG - I am sure there is some collusion/passing the buck syndrome within such organisations - but each situation on its own merits - It is obvious that the waste collection systems in Glos is a fiddle, very high cost, poorly managed and does very little to reduce emissions, in fact increases the carbon footprint - that is quite different issue as also their ineptitude in managing contracts.

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