Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Labour's Wheelie Bin shambles at todays Full Council

Labour's Wheelie Bin shambles at todays Full Council

Below is a press release from Councillor Jon Hunt (Liberal Democrat Councillor for Perry Barr Ward)

Cabinet member James McKay was unable to respond to the Liberal Democrat
motion on wheelie bins last night after his own group denied him the time
needed to move their amendment.

In spite of failing to put across any case for wheelie bins, the Labour
group voted out the Liberal Democrat motion, which called for household
censuses to establish whether residents could manage the proposed system of
three new wheelie bins.

Cllr Jon Hunt, Liberal Democrat deputy leader, said: "It was a shambles.
Labour first tried to filibuster and repeatedly rejected requests for the
full-scale debate that residents deserve. In the end I and Cllr Neil
Eustace got to put our case as did two Conservative councillors. But
nobody from the majority Labour party was heard.

"Birmingham's residents are up in arms about this proposal. So far what we
have heard from Cllr Mackay does not give reassurance.

"It is not right that people should be kept in the dark."

During earlier questions the cabinet member revealed he was unaware that
many councils charge residents large sums for replacing wheelie bins that
are vandalised or lost. In Solihull the typical charge is more than £40.
Sheffield Council admits to losing some 10,000 wheelie bins a year.

Cllr Mackay also rejected the idea of allowing residents to "opt out" of
the scheme.

Labour's motion, voted through without any supporting speeches, promised a
"flexible" system of waste collection and a full consultation.

Jon Hunt said: "I'm puzzled about how you can have a flexible system
without allowing residents to make their own choice that they cannot manage
wheelie bins. Yet again we have been unable to get answers.

"In moving our motion I produced evidence that introducing wheelie bins is
going to be very difficult and potentially costly in Birmingham. What's not
generally realised is that our housing estates are very different from the
rest of the country because of the huge expansion of the city with
affordable, private homes in the 1920s and 1930s. Some 34% of our homes
date from this era compared with an average of 18% for the rest of England.
We have many fewer modern estates than elsewhere.

"That's why residents are up in arms. It's increasingly clear this was a
decision taken in haste and may prove to be fatally flawed."


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