MALVERN Hills District Council chairman, Paul Tuthill, left the meeting to discuss bins for recycling after a senior officer declared his presence may invalidate the decision.

The advice, by MHDC’s head of policy and governance John Williams, came in the wake of Coun Tuthill’s comment in last week’s Malvern Gazette that the bins were “totally unacceptable”.

Mr Williams said this indicated Coun Tuthill had a “closed mind” on the issue.

He wrote: “My advice is you should not chair the meeting, participate in the debate or vote on this matter.

“Your participation has the potential to invalidate the council’s decision.” At the meeting, Coun Tuthill asked his fellow councillors to decide if he should stay.

Mr Williams advised that “a vote to allow the chairman to stay will be a breach of the code of conduct and of the Localism Act”.

After several councillors backed him, Coun Tuthill decided to leave the meeting.

Coun Clive Smith left with him in a gesture of solidarity.

He said: “I think it’s most unfortunate we’ve come to this.

“Coun Tuthill’s comments were reported in the Malvern Gazette, but members of the public have asked me where I stand on wheelie bins, and I’ve told them.

“I’m sure we’ve all done that.”

Coun Anthony Warburton said: “It reeks of the suppression of dissent,” and coun Roger Hall-Jones said it was “disturbing”

because councillors were elected to be the people’s representatives.

But council leader David Hughes said: “I think we need to be seen to follow the code of conduct to the letter.”

Coun Tuthill said the day after the meeting: “There were differing opinions.

“I felt it would be best all round to leave. I still think there are issues about councillors’ freedom to talk to the press that should be considered.”



Roger Bass, Bronwen Behan, Steve Brown, Dean Clarke, Chris Cheeseman, Roger Cousins, Paul Cumming, Gill Farmer, Susan Gill, Roy Harding, David Hughes, Rebecca Massey, Mike Morgan, Graham Myatt, Val Myatt, Tony Penn, Brian Pilcher, Adam Rea, Will Redman, Barbara Williams, Sheila Young.

AGAINST : Roger Hall-Jones, David Harrison, Tim Perry, Julian Roskams, Michael Soley, Anthony Warburton.

ABSTAIN: Roger Sutton.

NOT PRESENT: Hannah Campbell, Jill Campbell, Phillip Grove, Janet Marriot, Elaine Newman, John Raine, Paul Swinburn, Tom Wells.

Paul Tuthill and Clive Smith were present at the start of the meeting but left before the debate on wheelie bins.



Q: Will it mean we have to pay more on our council tax?

A. The funding will help the council meet the cost of continuing to provide our weekly black sack collections and reduce the demand on people to meet the costs of collecting glass for recycling.

Q Why don’t you introduce black bins for non-recyclable waste at the same time?

A. We are committed to maintaining weekly collections of residual waste and this is most effectively and economically done using black sacks.

Q Will I get into trouble for putting the wrong sort of waste in my bin?

A No. Malvern Hills’ residents have a great reputation for being good recyclers and the council will continue to work with its customers to help them recycle as much as possible.

Q What if I have nowhere to store a wheelie bin?

A Most homes do have storage for a wheeled recycling bin. For those that don’t recycling sacks will continue to be provided as now and the council aims to introduce glass recycling boxes.

Q What if I live in a flat?

A. Many flats have storage for wheeled recycling bins. In some instances the council already provides communal rubbish and recycling collections for flats.

Q: Do I have any choice about this?

A. The council is committed to working with all its customers to ensure they are able to make the best possible use of the waste and recycling collection services provided.

Q: Where does all the recyclable waste go?

A. All the recyclable material collected will continue to go the Envirosort near Worcester.

Q: Can I have more than one bin?

A. Yes.Households that produce large amounts of recyclables will be able to have a second wheeled recycling bin.

Q What happens if I refuse to use one of these bins?

A.We are committed to working with all customers to ensure they are able to make the best possible use of the waste and recycling collection services.