I asked my daughter what the woman had said. Here is the gist of it:
From March, Haringey are changing our normal rubbish collections to once every two weeks. (As I am sure local people already know this only too well – this is a huge issue in Muswell Hill and Highgate. In our Liberal Democrat survey – there was a massive majority against the proposals – but Haringey Labour Council are not consulting and risking an answer that they don’t want).
Haringey will also be taking away our green recycle boxes, and replacing them with a 240 litre bin instead. This means that most households will end up with two large bins in their front garden. When we have asked if residents will get the option to ask for a smaller recycling bin instead, the answer from the Council has been very unclear, so the jury’s still out on that one, even though we are approaching March very rapidly!
‘Any questions?’ the woman asked. My daughter said she was surprised that the Council hadn’t consulted on such a big issue. The woman said we were consulted – there was a questionnaire in a magazine.
Well – that’s not a consultation in my book. It’s great that they can afford to get someone round to explain what will happen – but that is just a bit of public relations following a fait accomplis. Whilst Liberal Democrats are 100% committed to recycling – a change on this scale without consultation is completely unacceptable.
The Council did not consult local people on this fundamental change to the way in which rubbish will be collected in the borough. Last week senior officers addressing the Muswell Hill Area Forum admitted that residents were not asked during a borough-wide consultation on the Council’s waste contract whether they wanted the Council to move to fortnightly non-recyclable waste collections.
To add insult to injury – Haringey has made no sign of wanting to take up the Coalition Government’s offer to fund continued weekly collections. So all of this could have been avoided, with the Government covering the added cost!
It is not the end of the world – but it sure lays to rest the lie of Haringey being a listening Council, and shows with chilling clarity exactly the level of importance Haringey attaches to local peoples’ wants and needs.
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MP for Hornsey and Wood Green.