Posted by: westlancashirerecord | February 26, 2018

South Ribble Tory Bird Flies The Nest For Independence

There are signs of turmoil at South Ribble Conservative Association with news that David Bird , Deputy Chair Membership & Finance, has quit the ruling group, claiming it has broken its promise to electors not to bring in charges for garden waste. Cllr Bird is to continue on the authority as an independent. But his departure leaves the Tories with the slenderest of majorities just a week before the council votes on next year’s budget.

The state of the Council is now Conservative 26; Labour 18; Liberal Democrat 3; Penwortham Independent 1; South Ribble Independents 2.

South Ribble council states “If you do not wish to subscribe to the new Garden Waste Service  you will no longer get a brown bin collection from the 9th April 2018, and you can either compost the garden waste at home or dispose of it at your local Household Waste Recycling Centre for free”. So far only 9,000 residents have signed up for the controversial new brown bin service leaving an estimated 29,000 homes likely to opt out.

It is public knowledge that the councillor for Howick and Priory Ward in Penwortham claimed there had also been other issues which contributed to his decision. But the row over charging for bin collections had been the “final straw.” “I’ve not been happy with the decision-making process over the last 12 months” he said. “It’s come to a head and I couldn’t remain any longer. I’m sad, but it’s been a difficult 12 months and I’ve really been at loggerheads with the group over a number of issues I have disagreed with. I can imagine it puts them in a very difficult position, but I had to do something”.

Cllr Bird, who was elected in May 2015, said his campaigning literature at the time and that of other Tory candidates stated there would not be a charge for garden waste collection. He said he was “coerced” by his party into voting for its introduction last year on the understanding the council would do everything in its power to find an alternative. I don’t believe that was ever their intention,” he said. “And now I’ve had enough”.

Tory council leader Cllr Peter Mullineaux told the press “At this time I’m not really willing to comment.” A resident claimed “Cllr Bird would appear to be rather more honourable than his leader and the other Tories”.

South Ribble Tory membership includes West Lancashire Cllrs Blane, Two Hat Moon, Cairns, and Ashcroft.

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