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New bin guidelines 'obvious' say Labour

Guidelines on wheelie bin and recycling box storage are "obvious" and do not solve a "much bigger problem" of house building levels, said Shadow Communities Secretary Hilary Benn.

Of course new homes should build in bin storage space, but a much bigger problem is that Eric Pickles has presided over the lowest level of house building since the 1920s.

Rather than giving obvious advice to housebuilders, Eric Pickles would do better to explain why he spent an eye-watering quarter of a billion pounds on a failed scheme to persuade councils to change their bin collection arrangements that resulted in just one council changing their policy.

– Hilary Benn Shadow Communities Secretary

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Pickles: Current bin policies 'barmy'

Existing bin polices are "barmy" according to Communities Secretary Eric Pickles.

In the run up to new guidance published next week on where to put wheelie bins and recycling boxes, Mr Pickles said:

This Government is standing up for hard-working people and getting rid of barmy bin policies which made families' lives hell. I want to make sure families get a proper rubbish and recycling collection service for the large amount of money they have to pay in council tax.

For years, badly-placed wheelie bins and the proliferation of multiple bins have created a blot on the landscape....By ensuring that developers create appropriate waste storage areas when designing new homes, we can tackle the ghastly gauntlet of bin blighted streets and driveways.

– Eric Pickles Communities Secretary

Government plan specific areas for bins and recycling

New homes should have special storage areas for bins and recycling boxes built in, guidelines will recommend. Credit: PA

New homes need specific storage areas for wheelie bins as they clutter up the streets, according to the Communities Secretary Eric Pickles.

Planning guidance published next week for new home developers will recommend creating space specifically for bins and recycling boxes.

The new guidelines warns would-be developers "unsightly bins left lying around the neighbourhood can damage the visual amenity of an area".

They add: "Carefully planned bin storage is, therefore, important. Each dwelling should have enough storage space for all the different types of bin used in the local authority area (for example landfill, recycling, food waste)."

Eric Pickles calls housing boost 'sustainable'

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said Government initiatives are creating a "sustainable" boost in UK housing as he unveiled figures showing 10,000 applications have been made under the first part of its Help to Buy scheme.

Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles. Credit: Suzanne Plunkett/PA Wire

Mr Pickles said: "This Government's package of measures to boost the housing market is working, with house building and housing supply on the up.

"The tough decisions we've taken to tackle the deficit left by the last administration and clear up the mess are now delivering a sustainable increase in housing and providing real help to hard-working people."

Pickles: Royal coat of arms 'will be banished by EU'

Eric Pickles Credit: David Jones/PA Wire

Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles claims that a new ruling by the European Union will force the Government to remove the royal coat of arms from birth, marriage and death certificates.

The European Commission has proposed standardising national documents across the 28 countries, to help officials prevent fraud.

A spokesman for the EU said that the Local Government Secretary's claims were "plain wrong" because the changes were not mandatory.

Mr Pickles said that at a similar scheme for driving licenses started as voluntary but was eventually made compulsory across the union.

"From cradle to grave, Britons are now to be stamped with theEU flag, as Brussels starts interfering in people's birth, death and marriage," he said.

"This imposed Euro-law is part of an aggressive propaganda campaign to bully councils and public institutions into flying the EU flag at every opportunity."

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Pickles questions government immigration posters

Eric Pickles says he needs "persuasive evidence" before rolling out the campaign. Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Archive/

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has become the first conservative cabinet minister to question the government's controversial advertising campaign telling illegal immigrants to "go home or face arrest".

Speaking to radio station LBC 97.3, he said he needed to see "very persuasive evidence" for the London campaign to be rolled out nationally. "It's a pilot scheme, we've got to evaluate the evidence to see how effective it was, " he told the station.

"I will be looking at that evidence, I need to see some very persuasive evidence that this should be passed out nationally. If something like this has to happen it needs to be evidence based," he said.

RAC welcome plans to rent driveways

Motoring charity the RAC Foundation has welcomed plans to enable people to rent out their driveways as car parks. Professor Stephen Glaister said the plans made sense as the number of parking spaces has not kept pace with the increasing number of cars on the roads.

Instinctively this has to be right. The number of cars has grown from two million in 1950 to 28.5 million today. The number of parking spaces has not increased at anything like a similar pace.

If people can rent out a bedroom to a lodger then, within reason, why not let them lease out space on their drive? It is hardly a change of use.

Surely, if we can reduce congestion on the streets, then councils should be rejoicing rather than moaning?

English councils earn £565m from parking charges

Households can earn more than £200 each month renting out their parking space, according to moneysavingexpert.com. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Archive

Figures from the RAC Foundation released this week claimed some councils were racking up huge surpluses from their parking-charge activities.

In 2011/12, English councils had a total current account surplus of £565 million from their on-street and off-street parking operations, after an annual rise of £54 million.

Eric Pickles said residents would now be allowed to rent a single parking space without planning permission, provided there was no main concerns such as public nuisance to neighbours.

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