Patience has run out over bins disaster

YOU don't have to be a highly-paid consultant to work out that Leeds's bin system has become a complete shambles.

But it has already cost city taxpayers 137,000 to reach a stage where anyone can see it's in utter chaos.

That's the sum the local authority has paid to outside 'experts' to tell it how to collect Leeds rubbish.

And so far it's looking like a dreadful waste of our money.

Just last week, 21,000 homes failed to have their black bins emptied amid the confusion that has engulfed what you would think should be a pretty straightforward operation.

Allowances may have been made when the snow was here, but it's now abundantly clear that the revamped system has failed dismally and is not getting any better.

To add salt to the wounds, the savings this overhaul was meant to bring are being eaten away by the cost of forking out on extra help to clear up the mess. The council is expected to spend 1.6m on agency staff this financial year alone.

There are all sorts of reasons why the bin service is a disaster and has been for months.

Conservative group leader Andrew Carter points the finger at the binmen themselves, claiming some are engaging in sabotage due to ill-feeling left over from the strike of just over a year ago.

The reality is that the patience exhibited by the Leeds public has now been well and truly exhausted.

We expect normal service to be resumed as quickly and as cheaply as possible.

League caution

THERE is a danger with the plethora of school league tables produced each year that parents and teachers alike will become lost in the mass of data being churned out.

Nevertheless, the statistics showing how many schools reached the benchmark of ensuring 35 per cent or more of their pupils passed at least five GCSES, including maths and English, provide a useful barometer for parents.

On the whole, the rule of thumb that schools in wealthier areas perform better than those in poorer communities still holds true.

Eight out of the city's 41 schools failed to meet the target, but there are some signs of improvement.

However, that optimism is set against concerns that schools are shunning traditional subjects in order to bump up their ratings.

We just hope league tables such as these do not divert educators from their primary purpose of giving our children the best preparation for life after school.

Soap needs you

FANS of Leeds-set soap Emmerdale are needed to support the show at this year's National Television Awards. We must warn the recruits to our Emmerdale Army that they will be entering enemy territory in London. But it will be worth it to hear a hundred Yorkshire voices cheer the soap on to awards glory.

BE CURIOUS: One of the events at a previous Be Curious festival.

Reece Parker: We want Leeds residents to be curious