It is good to see common sense prevailing on the contentious issue of adding microchips to the fish in our wheelie bins with local councils deciding not to adopt this decidedly dodgy doorstep practice.
These days far too many organisations become hooked on the latest techno-gimmicks, with little regard for the negative aspects they invariably bring with them – in this case a major concern among householders at the prospect of spies among the
pies. Let's hope they stick to their guns and do not bow to Whitehall pressure to introduce them, regardless of public opinion.
Perhaps they have done a risk assessment and concluded the potential danger to binmen from irate residents to be not worth the dubious benefits derived. But I hope this is not the only reason because when you learn some councils throughout the country are setting aside more funds to pay for compensation claims for injuries caused to the elderly by pavement accidents than for actually fixing them, it really does seem we are in danger of putting the proverbial dustcart before the hearse.
Talking of which, the first anniversary of the smoking ban has brought an inevitable glut of moans and groans from disgruntled dog-end droppers and peeved publicans. As an unsympathetic ex-40-a-day man, to the former I would say it's about time we enjoyed some fresh air indoors. To the latter I suggest there are plenty of examples of pubs prospering from the ban by offering more facilities such as food and attracting people like me who for years have been put off by the smell of stale tobacco.
With reports of huge reductions of smokers and predictions of 40,000 deaths prevented over the next 10 years, the health benefits are obvious and for the majority of us it is a real pleasure to enjoy a smoke-free drink at the bar – once you can get to it through the fug outside!
So praise where it's due for courageous legislation, even if it could have been just a little more flexible to accommodate...