Tuesday, March 04, 2008


I finally got to the bottom of my tree pile mystery. Four days after East Renfrewshire council was meant to take away my trees (and 4 days after they cashed my £20 payment), I get a hand delivered letter through my door explaining why they haven't removed them. When I booked the uplift, I was informed that the £20 covered 15 minutes of 2 men working, ie 30 man-minutes. When Thomas cut the (very small) trees down the week before, I watched him move them from all around the garden into a pile on the patio - this took approximately 12 minutes. I timed him because I knew the council's policy. So it took 1 man 12 minutes to pile up my trees. The council's letter claims that because my pile of trees is so big, it will cost me £70 to have them removed from my garden. As the distance is the same as Thomas moved them, they are telling me 2 men would take 52.5 minutes to move my trees, or 1 man would take 1hr45 minutes to move my trees the same distance as Thomas took 12 minutes to move them. I have to conclude that:

  • The council employs 1-legged, 1-armed refuse collectors, or
  • The council employs slow, lazy layabouts, or
  • The council is a dishonest money-grabbing institution.

I'll leave you to decide which theory is likely to be the most accurate.
I phoned them and told them to re-credit my visa card with £20 as their quote was outrageous, explained the above to them and decided that if it is the last thing I do, I will spend the rest of year cutting these trees into little pieces and putting them in my brown refuse bin so that the council will slowly but surely be obliged to remove them all from my garden free of charge! Don't mess with me East Ren!

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