Posted by: westlancashirerecord | May 19, 2018

Blue Boxes Or Blue Wheelie Bins, If You Wished?

On Thursday, 28 February, 2013 the WLBC controlling Tory group made a public commitment about the public having an option of either a blue bin or a blue box, with no mention or question of payment over choice either then or in the future.

It stated “Conservative controlled West Lancs Borough Council is investing in new blue recycling bins for residents and improvements to public open spaces in Burscough and Skelmersdale. The Conservative Group budget, announced last night, paved the way for residents to have the option of having their blue recycling box replaced with a wheelie bin if they wish. The budget also announced investment in Burscough’s Richmond Park, improvements in Skelmersdale, and funding for a graduate trainee. £100,000 has also been set aside to deal with issues at the playing fields in Abbey Lane. Council Tax was also frozen for the fourth year in a row. The Labour Group refused to support these measures, and instead abstained on the budget. This investment comes hot on the heels of investment announced last year for improvements in Ormskirk and the expansion of CCTV across West Lancashire.

“Conservative Group finance spokesman Cllr David Westley said “Unlike Labour, we have been financially prudent and this has enabled us to invest despite tough times. Had we followed Labour’s suggestions, we would have had no money to invest in frontline service improvements because it would have been blown on bureaucracy and waste. This is a good news budget from the Conservative Group”.

“Conservative Group leader Cllr Ian Grant  said “The council’s waste and recycling collection service is perhaps one of the most visible frontline services as it is the one which residents see every week. Our recycling rates have increased since the Conservative Group introduced kerbside recycling around 10 years ago. With residents now having the option of having a blue bin, if they wish, we are hopeful it will lead to increased satisfaction with the service”.

“Cllr David Sudworth , Conservative spokesman for leisure, welcomed the investment in Burscough and Skelmersdale “I am pleased this Conservative council is continuing to invest in public open spaces. Richmond Park has a new Friends of the Park Group, instigated by this Conservative council, and I hope that, coupled with this boost, it will open up a new chapter for the park. I am also pleased we are allocating £100,000 to tackle the ongoing issues at Abbey Lane. For Skelmersdale, we are looking to regenerate the area behind the library and install new seating to make it more attractive, as well as undertaking some necessary repairs. I am sure residents will be puzzled as to why Labour could not bring themselves to vote for these proposals”. Burscough Conservative Cllr Ruth Melling welcomed the investment locally “This shows that despite tough times, Conservatives are working hard and delivering investment into Burscough. It is a shame Labour refused to support this”.

On Monday, March 10, 2014 WLBC stated “Free blue wheelie bins are proving popular with residents in West Lancashire as the Council moves ahead with its scheme to make it easier for people to recycle household waste. New blue wheelie bins encourage residents to go green and recycle even more waste…Each property receives a leaflet explaining the new system two weeks before the bins are delivered. The leaflet includes a yellow sticker, and any resident who wishes to continue to use a blue box rather than a bin can follow the instructions on the leaflet to put the sticker on their blue box.

“Residents who feel strongly that they want to continue to use a blue box are able to do so. People who do this are advised that they will not be able to present for collection any extra glass, plastic or cans that do not fit into the blue box. The Council will only empty one blue box per household. If the box gets damaged or lost it will not be replaced with another box, but with a blue wheelie bin”.

Again, no costs are mentioned, not even for a replacement bin. Many people still have the boxes, undamaged. For them to be told now that blue boxes won’t be emptied, pay £25 to keep on recycling, is an insult and penalises those whose waste is so little as to only need the small blue box. This policy demeans the council. It is beneath dignity and should be changed.

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