‘We’re starting with street lighting,’ said Communities Secretary Eric Pickles introducing the government’s ‘Localism: Councils [coin-operated] Bill’.
‘Coin-operated street lights are just the first step in ensuring every penny is spent sensibly,’ Mr Pickles said. ‘If councils don’t send workman out at dusk with a handful of coins to get the lights on, the voters will know about it.’
Mr Pickles said that by the end of the parliament most council services would be coin-operated.
‘Our forefathers knew what they were doing when they made people pay a penny up-front if they wanted a subsidised shit,’ he added. ‘The coalition is just extending the principle.’
It is understood that as a lad the Communities Secretary spent long hours in coin-operated laundrettes keeping an eye on his mum’s washing.