Monday, September 13, 2004

LibDems need to get a grip

Here's a press release I issued today in the continuing North Norfolk wheelie bin shambles...

The North Norfolk Wheelie Bin saga has yet again descended in to farce after the Council admitted to North Norfolk Conservative Candidate Iain Dale that it is discouraging residents from recycling garden waste.

After a complaint from a local Cromer resident Iain Dale wrote to the Council to seek clarification on the Council’s policy. He accused the Council of doubling the price of garden waste refuse sacks to £1.50 a bag pending the introduction of the garden waste wheelie bins in March 2005 – 6 months later than originally promised.

In a letter to Iain Dale, Nick Baker, Head of Enviromental Health wrote: “You are quite correct to say that the service will not be available for some time. The reason why the price [of the garden refuse sacks] was increased was to ensure we did not receive large amounts of trade waste in the sacks for garden waste and the garden waste sacks were increased to the same price as trade waste. I ACCEPT THE CRITICISM THAT IN THE SHORT TERM WE HAVE TO A CERTAIN EXTENT DISCOURAGED PEOPLE TO USE THE GARDEN WASTE SERVICE… We will not be reducing the price of the sacks as the Council has made a policy decision on this and we know full well that there would be an enormous amount of trade waste issues arising from such a reduction.”

Iain says: “If the LibDems on the Council are serious about recycling and meeting the government imposed targets, why are they putting a barrier in the way of local people who want to recycle garden waste? They are fleecing local residents by doubling the charge of the garden refuse sacks. I am calling on them to cut the price back to where it was before they admitted they wouldn’t be able to introduce the garden waste scheme on time. The time to put the price of the sacks up is when the Garden Waste bins are ready to be delivered and NOT before.

“It is becoming clear that the introduction of the whole wheelie bin scheme has been a disaster. It has lacked proper planning and local people are completely fed up with it. Council officers have been highhanded and insensitive to the feelings of local people and it’s about time the ruling LibDem group got to grips with the mounting chaos that this scheme has brought.

Cromer resident Mr Maurice Snelson of Compit Hills, who originally brought the issue to Iain Dale’s attention says: “I am furious that I am paying Council tax for my rubbish to be collected and yet the Council want to rob me of another £1.50 per bag for garden waste. I want it to be recycled but people in this area cannot afford this ridiculous price. I hope the Council will listen to what Iain Dale is saying.”

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