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.

I will never tire of using the same snow related photo for such posts. I want it to become a cliché for the blog, in just the same way that snow becomes the tired and clichéd news item whenever it happens in this country.

In fact, I’ve not that much Wandsworth-related to write about. I have spent most of this week working away performing what is known as a ‘peer review’ of another borough’s Community Safety partnership (which was generally impressive and has left me with a lot of ideas for Wandsworth). Less impressive was the performance of their neighbouring borough at clearing roads!

While not perfect – and it would be impossible to do everything – Wandsworth has coped admirably with the snow and ice. Yesterday, for example, it made over 1,000 of the 1,400 refuse collections that were due. To put this into context Kensington and Chelsea and Hammersmith and Fulham suspended all their collections, while Lambeth collected from main routes only. The latest information can be found on the council’s website.