The council failed to collect Christmas trees for the second week running in Shaftesbury Ward.

My children are actually quite pleased about this. They were sad to see the tree leave the house, so being able to walk past so many on their way to school each day has been a small compensation for them. However, it does create problems. Many block the pavements, leaving then inaccessible for those with mobility problems or pushchairs, and they tend to attract fly-tipping.

There is, of course, a degree to which people should be considerate in disposing of their trees, but after the council’s heavy publicity of the Christmas tree collection (and warning of fines for people who dumped trees) it was not unreasonable for residents to leave trees out with their usual refuse in the expectation they would be collected.

I took this up with the council last week (but have not yet had a response, as an opposition councillor their target for replying to me is two weeks). I have chased them up again for what it’s worth. It seems to have been a problem across the borough, so I don’t know how rapidly they might be able to respond and suspect Shaftesbury is low down on their political priority list.

I’ve also written to Jonathan Cook, the cabinet member responsible. He is also one of the ward councillors for Shaftesbury. I’m sure he is already aware of it, but thought it worth writing just in case he’s not visited the ward recently.

Happy New Year.

And a reminder, now that twelfth night is approaching, that the council is once again recycling Christmas trees.

On normal collection days from tomorrow (5 January) until 18 January trees will be collected free of charge, then shredded to become compost.

It’s impossible not to notice trees starting to litter the streets, they should only be put out the evening before collection, and even then not on the street unless there is no other option – the council will collect trees (and your normal rubbish and recycling) from your front garden so there’s never any need to block the pavement.

If you waited until Twelfth Night to remove your decorations (many don’t, even though they put them up in November) you might well have a Christmas Tree on your hands today – one a bit like William the wonky Christmas tree, pictured to the left, who served us well.

As usual the council will be composting Christmas Trees.

Leave your tree with your rubbish on your usual collection day between 11 and 23 January the council will take it, chip it and turn it into mulch.

If, like me, you are overly sentimental and name your trees you might think this is a harsh way to treat someone who has become a family member over Christmas. However, it’s a lot more dignified than the alternative his predecessor, Ted, suffered. We tried to keep him as part of the family, but he died a slow, cold and lonely death following our failed attempt to plant him in our back garden.

Trust me, your tree would want it this way.