Council hits back at bin collection criticism

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THE politician responsible for overseeing refuse collections in a Yorkshire city has hit back at accusations that contingency plans were not adequate to cope with the public sector strikes.

Opposition Liberal Democrat councillors claimed yesterday that there had been a dearth of information for residents after disruption to rubbish collections in York during the national day of industrial action that was staged on Tuesday last week.

Heworth Without’s Liberal Democrat member Nigel Ayre claimed that several residents had contacted him to complain about the failure to put in place a plan to deal with the backlog created after the strike.

But York Council’s Cabinet member for communities and neighbourhoods, Coun Dafydd Williams, maintained adequate contingency plans had been set up to cope with rescheduling bin collections.

He added: “Coun Ayre himself was advised of the arrangements on Monday, but curiously appears unable to understand them. This was a dispute between the trades unions and Coun Ayre’s Government, and the public will, I hope, acknowledge the extra efforts the council has gone to in order to mitigate the impact of last week’s disruption to waste collections.”

York Council confirmed collections were affected by the strike action with six refuse rounds being carried out instead of the usual 14, and six recycling rounds instead of the usual 10. Crews focused their efforts on medical and clinical collections and clearing waste from terraced areas, most of which is bagged refuse.

Coun Ayre said: “Residents are understandably very unhappy that the council failed to put in place contingency plans, especially given the date of the planned strike was known for quite a considerable period of time. Staff are working hard to do what they can, but they have been put in a very difficult position by the Cabinet’s failure to ensure back-up plans were in place.”