“Weekly bin collections are one of the most visible frontline services and there is no plausible reason why councils shouldn’t deliver them to hard-working residents. We have demolished the Labour myth that fortnightly bin collections were necessary to save money or increase recycling.
“If councils don’t get their house in order and deliver this basic public service then not only will they be held to account at the ballot box. We will be looking closely at the central government funding for bin collections; councils receive £28 billion in formula grant funding – it’s not unreasonable that they provide a decent bin service in return.”
These are the words of none other than arch Tory, “Big” Eric Pickles, the cabinet minister in the Conservative-led government responsible for local government.
Yet again, Mike Fisher’s Croydon Conservatives are seriously out of step not only with the demands of the borough’s residents, but even with their own party’s political masters.
Croydon went to two-weekly bin collections a year ago, claiming it would save money and reduce landfill.
But with little borough supervision of the outsourced rubbish collection contract, the state of Croydon’s streets have become grubbier and tattier, with wheelie bins overflowing and infestations of rats and other vermin becoming an increasing problem. Meanwhile, the council has cut the number of staff working its central helpline, the people who have to field reports of missed collections and rubbish-strewn streets.
An Inside Croydon poll conducted six months ago reported dissatisfaction among three-quarters of respondents, with 52 per cent of respondents saying that they had had missed collections on four or more occasions. Trucks are often sent out to deal with these missed collections and – all at extra cost, of course.
And thanks to the leadership of Mike Fisher and the local authority genius that is Jon Rouse, our £248,000 per year chief executive, it looks like that reduction of service is about to cost the people of Croydon even more money.
Proud to serve, themselves.
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- Restore weekly bin collections or lose funds, Eric Pickles tells councils (dailymail.co.uk)