Wokingham Borough Council’s Conservative Group has hit out at proposals from the Liberal Democrat administration to scrap some public bins and reduce collection on others.
Describing the decision as “out of step with residents’ priorities”, the Conservatives criticised the Liberal Democrats’ plans to cut back on public bins that are already overflowing.
The announcement by the Liberal Democrats to cut funding for a public service comes months after it pumped money into a series of pet projects and funding for expensive interim council staff.
Conservative councillors are calling on the administration to halt its plans at least until further information is provided to residents of where bins and collections will be reduced.
The Conservatives are also demanding publication of the evidence that these bins are “least used”.
The Liberal Democrats’ plans were announced alongside a series of reductions in other Council services, including grass cutting, street sweeping and weed spraying.
Cllr Norman Jorgensen, Shadow Executive Member for Finance, said:
“I’m sure most councillors find themselves being contacted by residents concerned that public bins are overflowing and need emptying.
“The Liberal Democrat administration’s proposals to do away with some public bins and reduce collection will make the situation worse.
“It would be nice to believe that every person walking along a path, unable to find a bin, will take their rubbish home with them, but this simply doesn’t bear up to reality.
“Once again, we see a total lack of transparency from this Lib Dem administration.
“Where are the lists of which bins are going to be removed or emptied less; where are the figures to justify these savings?”
Cllr Pauline Jorgensen, Leader of the Conservative Group, added:
“Cllr Imogen Shepherd Du Bey boasted that the Liberal Democrat led Council had made a budget surplus last year. Now they are cutting a universal service vital to keep our Borough clean.
“They approved a budget in February that decided to allocate taxpayers’ money to pet projects and expensive back-office staff, rather than services for residents.
“They could have allocated additional funding to keep these bins, but they chose not to.
“It is a real demonstration of the Lib Dems’ warped priorities. Like many of their decisions this will be a false economy. How much will it cost to tackle the vermin that will increase as a result of this poorly thought-out policy?”