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Monday, 1 September 2014

Councils and electrical repair and reuse — perhaps they are not doing enough?

By Swheatie of the KUWG

It is perhaps good that Camden Council is doing something to promote DIY electronic repairs — see previous posting on this blog. But are they doing nearly enough?

Though an LB Camden-resident, I recently contacted LB Islington's one-of-a-kind 'Bright Sparks' electrical repair place by phone about the prospect of getting my stereo turntable repaired. (It has not been working properly since I took the old stylus out and put in a new one.) There I was told that their specialist repairer of such items is off sick but the other volunteer would be willing to have a look. So, not really confident about the 'non-specialist volunteer' handling the job, I went to an electrical shop near where I live but also in LB Islington and asked the propietor if he knew anyone who fixed such items.

He told me that he does, and advised me to bring it in, and so I did this afternoon. This afternoon, though, he told me that he gets so many such items for repair that he is fed up with them, and that mine will be the last one he'll attend to!

So it seems to me that there is under-provision for such services, perhaps, and London boroughs could perhaps be more resolute in fixing that gap? Maybe they should give more training to potential professionals, bearing in mind that some of us with various disabilities would not be able to do the fix-it stuff no matter how many short workshops or even longer courses on DIY electrical and electronic repairs we attend.

And how about paying people to do the repairs, rather than just relying on volunteers? Should not reducing the proportion of potentially repairable items that go into landfill and thus reduce land available for housing be a priority?

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