Reacting to proposals, set to be approved at the next Labour Executive meeting on 11th August, Liberal Democrats today expressed concern at the prospect of fortnightly bin collections in Brent.
The report, entitled “Waste Strategy Review”, will see Labour Councillors agreeing a £1.2 million cut in the Council’s waste budget. £700,000 of this will be from “Street Cleansing” – details of which have yet to be revealed – and the remaining £500,000 will be from “Waste Collection”.
The report goes on to detail how the Labour Administration plan to cut £500,000 from the waste budget – including “Alternate weekly collection using existing wheeled bin” for “residual waste” or normal household rubbish (page 28 of report).
The report also admits the Council will be unlikely to reach the 60% recycling target that Labour pledged in their manifesto in the run up to the 2010 elections.
Across the country, fortnightly collections of rubbish have been controversial, with many residents complaining of overflowing bins, poor smells and hygiene concerns. Labour are also proposing that only waste in the bins will be collected. Liberal Democrat Councillors in Brent are saying that more needs to be done to increase what can be recycled so that more waste is diverted from ordinary bins that way.
Speaking about the proposals, Cllr Ann Hunter, Liberal Democrat Spokeswoman for Environment said:
“Labour made a big deal about designing a “resident’s charter” for Green issue in Brent. Here however we find Labour trying to bring through a huge policy change in an Executive report when many people are away on holiday.
This has been a very controversial policy in many parts of the country and residents will rightly have concerns. I think we need to have a serious debate on this issue, not simply have it approved quietly while everyone is on holiday.
Liberal Democrats in Brent have always pushed for an increase in recycling. Bringing in compulsory recycling was hugely successful in that regard. What needs to happen now is a focus on improving what can be recycled, not what you can’t throw away. When people return from their holidays, Labour will have some explaining to do.”
You can read the report here: Waste Strategy Review