Concern public not given ‘full information’ on proposed changes to bin collection

A row has broken out over proposals to decrease black bin collections in Wrexham amid concerns the public did not have the full facts.

Bins containing general waste are currently picked up every two weeks across the county.

But that could increase to once every three or four weeks, as part of £13m savings the council is looking at making over the next two years due to budget cuts.

‘It is not about if services are cut, it’s now about which ones’, says leader of council facing £13m cutbacks

A public consultation was launched asking people for their views on a raft of potential savings, including the possible change to the black bin collection, before any decisions are made.

Today at a scrutiny committee meeting, Cllr Carrie Harper, raised concerns that the consultation did not specifically tell the public the length of time for picking up black bin rubbish could increase from two to three or four weeks.

Cllr Harper said: “I read the public consultation and the detail definitely wasn’t in there.”

She added: “I am concerned, that this was vague and more people would have commented on this if they had realised the council was talking about increasing the length of time between black bin collections.”

However, Cllr David A Bithell, lead member for the environment and transport, responded that the consultation had told people the council was reviewing the “collection frequency” for black bins.

Wrexham residents are being ‘kept in the dark’ over £2m cuts.

The consultation states: “The council’s medium term aim is to review the collection frequency of residual (black bin) waste.

“The proposal is to review waste services with a view to improving recycling rates and achieving service efficiencies.”

The public was then asked to tick a box ranging from strongly agreeing to strongly disagreeing with the proposal and given an opportunity to comment on it.

How much decreasing the frequency black bins are collected may save, has not been established.

Cllr Bithell has not commented further.

A final decision on whether black bin collections should be decreased will be made by the executive board next year.

The issue has proved a bone of contention for other North Wales local authorities.

Last month a Conwy council scrutiny committee said moving from three weeks to monthly general waste collections was “a step too far”.

The council’s cabinet is due to make a decision on it tomorrow,

Wrexham local authority bosses have already found £50m of savings in recent years because of decreased budget settlements as austerity continues to bite.

Council leader Mark Pritchard has said there are no more efficiency savings left to make, meaning services will be lost with job losses.

Other savings being looked at in the latest round of Wrexham cuts are funding for Police Community Support Officers across Wrexham, reducing library facilities, withdrawing funding for the school music service and parking charges introduced at the county’s country parks.

 

Article originally appeared on Daily Post

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