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Wednesday, 03 September 2014

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Plans to alter Copeland rubbish collections slammed

RURAL residents have raised concerns over controversial plans to alter bin collections in Copeland.

Copeland Borough Council is looking to save £120,000 a year by removing one bin wagon and crew from its waste collection service.

In order to do so, the council has put forward several proposals which, it says, makes the service more efficient, while cutting costs.

A public consultation was launched in July, giving residents the opportunity to have their say on proposals to alter the assisted collection service for disabled esidents, larger wheelie bin provision, off route collections and garden waste collections.

Speaking at a consultation meeting in Bootle on Monday, villagers voiced their concerns.

An elderly couple, who did not wish to named, said the council’s proposal that all off-route collections be made from the nearest roadside could cause them
difficulties.

The couple, who live in Middleton Place, said: “Our main concern is taking our rubbish to the A595.

“If we leave it out overnight it might attract animals that will break open the bags and spray the rubbish all over the place.

“Not only that, but we’d have to lug our rubbish 250 yards down a pot-holed, unmade road. It’s nonsensical.

“If you live in a place like we do then you don’t get many council amenities like street lighting or road maintenance, so really all you’re paying for is refuse collection. If these proposals go through, we’ll end up doing part of it ourselves.”

The council says 700 properties in the borough require off-route collections which, it says, takes “4.5 times longer and costs 4.5 times more” to collect than other households.

Other proposals include a revised eligibility criteria for determining which households will be entitled to assisted collection. At the moment, bins are collected from a storage point, for example in the garden, and returned when empty.

The proposals affect 1,500 properties where householders are unable to place their bin at the edge of their property due to disability or restricted mobility.

It is proposed the assisted collection service continues for these residents, and criteria will be introduced to determine what levels of assistance households will be entitled to. The level a customer requires will be agreed between the council and the customer after an assessment.

Noel Moore, of South Copeland Disability Group, believes the change will result in fewer people “abusing the system”. He said: “From our understanding, the change wouldn’t have an impact on most assisted collections. If anything it would stop people abusing the system, because there are people who get assisted
collection when there’s nothing wrong with them.”

The council’s consultation period closes on Friday.

Have your say

Hmm, Council efficiencies.

I can think of quite a few lads with a flat bed truck who could toddle round the district once a fortnight to collect 700 bags who might not charge as much as £120k ...

Posted by Borwick on 7 September 2012 at 10:56

Hi Rupert

A few things you have said in your comment are not correct. Copeland didn't take the money to bring in weekly collections. The reason for this was quite simple - it didn't cover the cost of moving to weekly collections and on top of this, would not have been paid in future years, so the additional cost would have been an extra pressure on the budget. The council wasn't willing to accept this, as we already have to make tough budget cuts to meet the cuts imposted by the government.

I don't know which area you are referring to where black backs are sorted, but this isn't the case in Copeland. No household waste collected (black wheeled bins and blue bags) is sorted after collection and is disposed of.

Like all local councils, Copeland is having to take some difficult decisions about the future of the authority and the services we provide. This is because of the cuts to funding we have received. These include not only the cut to our grant, but cuts to funding for benefit provision amongst others.

Posted by Ian Curwen on 6 September 2012 at 09:54

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