One of the many problems with Quangos is they constantly come up with wheezes to justify their existence. Many chief executives know they may be for the chop if the Conservatives win the next election, so they find new and inventive ways of keeping themselves in work. The Audit Commission is a prime example of a Quango determined to remain in the public eye.
Last year it published a new system of rating councils by either giving them red or green flags. It told us little, but it made the Audit Commission look like it was doing something to improve the standards of local government. Now it is interfering once again in decisions we should be making locally.
Hull City Council rolled out a new recycling system about six months ago. It made it easier to recycle by scheduling collection dates on the same day as existing refuge collections and increased the amount of waste products that can be collected from your home. What it did not do is impose mandatory fortnightly bin collections for non-recyclable waste. This was sensible. Personally, I put out my black, non-recyclable waste bin about once a month and my recyclable waste bin is full every fortnight. I will be perfectly happy to have fortnightly collections, as will the majority of my neighbours, judging by the frequency they put out their bins for collection. If we do move to fortnightly collections it will be as a result of council taxpayers wanting it; not because it has been imposed.
The Audit Commission however are trying to impose fortnightly collections on councils regardless of local, public opinion. Not only is this wrong, as it stinks of the big brother state imposing its will on the rest of us, it also puts another nail in the coffin of local democracy. What’s the point of voting in local elections if the representatives you elect have their hands tied behind their backs at every turn?
If anyone needed a reason of why there needs to be a bonfire of the Quangos and their powers diminished, this is yet another example. The Audit Commission is not interested in what’s best for the taxpayer. It is only interested in gaining more power for itself.