Lib Dem councillors in Wokingham are confident they have the backing of the public in pushing for changes to the new waste collection service. The Liberal Democrats received an overwhelming response to their waste and recycling survey, carried out earlier this year. There were over 1000 replies, and they have helped the Lib Dems understand exactly which parts of the new scheme residents are most unhappy with. The Lib Dems plan to use the information to continue to push for changes.
Cllr Prue Bray, Leader of the Lib Dem group, said “Residents have told us about a huge variety of issues. The top three are: that the green waste is far too expensive, that the blue bags are not good enough, and that people want to be able to recycle a wider range of items. We will be focusing on getting the Conservatives to rethink at least those three aspects of the scheme.”
“We welcome the fact that the Council’s Overview & Scrutiny committee has taken up our suggestion of a review of waste collection, which will give us an opportunity to push for what residents want. The review will also look at the problems with the introduction of the scheme, which infuriated so many people.”
“The Lib Dems recognise that money is tight and that any changes made will have to be affordable and cost effective. This may limit the scope of what can be done. But we hope we will be able to work constructively together with Conservative councillors to get the changes residents want to see.”
Liberal Democrats have raised questions and motions on the Waste Scheme at the following Council / Executive meetings:
- July 2010;
- November 2010;
- September 2011;
- October 2011;
- January 2012;
- and May 2012.
– but up to now, the Council hasn’t responded to the obvious flaws in the system. The following anonymous quotes from the Waste Survey represent a cross-section of views:
- “No objection to a one off payment for a wheelie bin but will not pay an annual charge. What do I pay council tax for!!!”
- “Council tax increase by the back door”
- “This is an unnecessary stealth tax (annually making it worse still). Possibly. would have paid a one off fee for bin, but not ANNUAL charge.”
- “More items should be recycled and can be recycled. The green waste will stop being recycled because people won’t want to pay for it.”
- “Other councils do more to encourage recycling of other objects like glass. We seem to be going backwards.”
- “It is a shame you don’t recycle glass or plastic tubs, pots or trays.”
- “The bags are too thin – anything heavy makes them split and they are easy for foxes or cats to get into/tear.”
- “The blue bags are not large enough to fit inside a ‘normal’ black dustbin”
- “Bags very flimsy and don’t fit our dustbin”.