They thought they were being helpful by collecting litter around their village.Well, I suppose it is a little cheeky to go and do this without letting the council know that they'd be expected to collect the...
But despite leaving the pavements and verges spotless not everyone was pleased with their efforts.
For it seems the volunteers of North Stifford, Essex, who filled 43 bags of rubbish during three hours of hard work, turned out to be a little too good at their job for the likes of the local council.
Now the litter pickers have received a reprimand suggesting that the results of their labours were 'excessive'.
The complaint was all the more surprising as the council had approved the operation and provided the bin bags and litterpicking sticks.So, what kind of idiot approves this operation and then whines about them actually going ahead and doing it?
Step forward Ashley Cobett, a man depriving a village somewhere of all three of its idiots:
Ashley Cobett, the council's cleansing manager, wrote: 'Please bear in mind that the weekend team have their regular work to do borough-wide and 43 bags and a sofa are a little excessive to collect.Well, gosh, Ashley, did it not occur to you that, knowing as you clearly did that this exercise was being carried out, extra resources for the day might be a good idea? I mean, I'm sure you've got all kinds of fancy qualifications in 'cleansing', but hell, I haven't, and even I can figure out that if there's more waste coming in, an extra truck might be a good idea...
'As this had filled up one of the vans they were unable to complete all of their work that day.
'I am happy to help voluntary organisations, but I would be very grateful if you would consider this for the future.'
The clear-up was carried out as part of Keep Britain Tidy's 'Big Tidy Up' campaign, during which hundreds of groups have collected rubbish from their streets.I understand your puzzlement, unnamed spokesman, but you've clearly not dealt with many council departments. There's a lot of Ashley Cobetts out there. In fact, I think there might be a cloning programme for them...
A spokesman for the campaign said: 'If rubbish is being collected off the street then surely that's a good thing?'
Thurrock council yesterday apologised to the group.'Sent in error'? That's a pretty odd way of apologising for the catastrophic PR disaster caused by the brain's trust running your cleansing department, isn't it?
A spokesman added: 'Members of the North Stifford Village Community Group did an excellent job at their clear-up, giving up their free time to help improve the local environment.
'We apologise for the email which was sent in error to the group.'
Frankly, sending one of your dustbin carts round the estate with the aforesaid cleansing manager strapped to the front for the populace to point, laugh and throw rotten tomatoes at might have been a better way of resolving this...