Huge number await bin collection consultation

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From: Robert Bottamley, Thorn Road, Hedon.

EAST Riding Council officer Nigel Leighton (Neighbourhood and Environment Services) has written to defend the imposition of fortnightly bin collections (Yorkshire Post, December 6).

First, Mr Leighton pretends that the entire population of the East Riding has fallen to its knees and begged the local authority to reduce the number of waste collections. This is nonsense.

The officer refers to 20,000 residents who participated in his pilot scheme. Mr Leighton doesn’t tell us how many favoured it. Why not? All we have is his unsupported assurance that they did.

Then, suppose (unlikely though the supposition may be) that every one of the 20,000 participants really did support fortnightly bin collections. Ninety-four per cent of the East Riding’s population still awaits consultation – including residents of Hedon, the town selected by the local authority to be the first victim of its latest cost-cutting, service-reducing racket. For, however much Mr Leighton and his County Hall colleagues wax lyrical about the glories of recycling, the alteration from weekly to fortnightly collections is indeed a reduction in the existing service – and one for which householders will continue to pay a significant charge.

We have heard the East Riding Council claim overwhelming support from residents for its schemes before. Perhaps the most widely publicised instance concerned the ERYC’s determination to build an incinerator, again near Hedon.

When the results of a survey eventually were obtained, they revealed that: (i) only a small proportion of the population was surveyed at all; (ii) only a tiny proportion of those surveyed had returned their questionnaires; (iii) more householders had rejected the council’s scheme as the preferred option than had accepted it. So much for the “overwhelming public support” the council claimed it had on that occasion.