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Wheelie bin plan still under attack
THE controversial decision to introduce wheelie bins into Malvern is under attack from all sides ahead of a crunch meeting next week.
Malvern Hills District Council has to date spent about £1.2million of a government grant purchasing wheelie bins and making adjustments to its fleet of lorries.
However the scheme is coming under pressure and one member of the council has suggested the project could be aborted and the council forced to sell its stock of bins.
Coun Anthony Warburton, a member of the controlling Tory group, believes the project has been led by unelected officers and councillors have never given it the goahead. On Tuesday, he will table a motion to full council demanding councillors are given the facts and a chance to decide on the scheme.
Pressure is also coming from Malvern Town Council, which this week passed a motion urging the district council to give wheelie bins more discussion. Members are also requesting district council officers attend Malvern’s town meeting on March 19 to “explain in full their decision”.
Coun Clive Smith, who sits on both councils, said: “If we (the district council) decide not to go ahead with it then we would have to rip off our logos and sell the bins to some poor council foolish enough to go ahead.”
Malvern’s MP Harriett Baldwin has written to district council leader David Hughes on behalf of town councillor Mike Charles, who says he has been “inundated” with complaints from residents about wheelie bins.
She told Coun Charles she had asked Coun Hughes to “fully investigate” the situation.
Coun Hughes said he has replied to Mrs Baldwin, explaining the council has received £1.6 million government funding to help preserve weekly black bag collections for general waste – and this is reliant on the introduction of wheelie bins for recyclables.
He also disputed the notion councillors had not had a say.
“This has been the subject of two member workshops, a policy group and two separate motions at full council, supporting the bid and the implementation,” he said.
“At meetings, in December and in September, the issue of our bid to government to preserve the weekly black bag collection and introduce wheelie bins for recycling was discussed in some detail,”
he said. “It is disappointing that they are only now raising their concerns over the decision.”