I have supported our Conservative Councillors in trying to keep our weekly bin collections. I was pleased to see this press release from them:
Conservative Councillors Win Vote to Keep Weekly Bin Collections Following Petition of 1800 Residents
Wokingham Conservative Group and one of the Borough’s Independent councillors voted to retain weekly bin collections despite the Liberal Democrat/Labour Coalition administration’s plan to reduce bin collections to fortnightly.
The vote came after a debate on a petition of 1800 residents’ signatures.
The petition, presented to Council last month, reflects concerns for larger families, for people who have more waste to dispose, such as nappies, and for residents who do not have room to store rubbish.
At the Budget Council meeting in February Liberal Democrat Cllr Ian Shenton described the petition as “spurious”.
This follows a Council consultation where only 24 per cent of responders said that they liked the idea of fortnightly collections.
The Council consultation on waste did not include an option to retain the current system of weekly collections or blue bags, preventing local people from expressing a view.
Wokingham Conservative Councillors would retain weekly waste collection and make savings by enabling residents to recycle more of their household waste. The cost to the Council of disposing of recycling is significantly cheaper than that of general waste.
Despite other nearby authorities moving to fortnightly collections, previous Conservative administrations in Wokingham Borough have kept weekly waste collections for 20 years, through careful management of the Council’s finances.
Cllr Norman Jorgensen, Shadow Executive Member for the Environment said “It is clear the majority of residents wish to retain weekly waste collections. I am pleased that an Independent councillor recognised just how unpopular this policy is and has voted with us.
“The Lib Dem/Labour Coalition didn’t give residents the chance to express their views on keeping weekly bin collections. I am glad we were able to bring resident’s views to the Council despite Liberal Democrat’s attempts to discredit it as “spurious”.
“Waste collection and recycling are important universal services that everyone in the Borough relies on. This policy will not save any money in the short term. In fact, it is expected to cost £2 million to implement. And future savings are not guaranteed. Remember this is the administration who said, when they scrapped the caddy liners, that they would increase recycling, saving the Council £300k. As we predicted at the time food recycling has not increased.
“Residents are being expected to pay more for less – this is not value for money for taxpayers.”
Cllr Pauline Jorgensen, Leader of the Conservative Group, said, “This was a vote on one of the Liberal Democrat/Labour Coalition’s key policies. They have wasted months trying to force through this unpopular and flawed decision.
“The Liberal Democrats didn’t include imposing fortnightly bin collections on residents in their election literature. In fact, some members of the Liberal Democrat Executive previously campaigned to keep weekly waste collections.
“Now residents have had their views heard. I hope that this will make the Lib Dem administration think again.”
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