Posted by: westlancashirerecord | July 24, 2018

OWLs Bid For Knowsley?

The latest OWL  news comes just in time for its bid to win the Knowsley Ward by-election. They report that “Blue bins will be provided free of charge to new users as finally the Labour council relents. We explain how to get one. Plus positive progress on new swim & leisure centres in Ormskirk and Skelmersdale; we’re asking questions of the Council Leader and useful information to help you recycle more plastics.

Fairness restored as sustained pressure prompts council rethink. Fairness has been restored for thousands of residents as a result of the Borough Council reversing its unjust attempt to charge £25 for a blue bin to residents who have continued to use a blue box: a move warmly welcomed by the councillor who first raised the matter.

Our West Lancashire’s Adrian Owens  said “It was when we asked more than 1,800 local residents for their feedback on the changes to the garden waste service [through this email newsletter] that this blue box injustice came to light with many residents contacting us and saying it was unfair.

“We immediately took the matter up with the council. Firstly, they had to admit that the advice they were providing to residents was incorrect and to change it, yet for several weeks, residents were complaining to us that they were getting no replies whatsoever from senior Labour councillors including the portfolio holder for waste collection.

“Eventually, with the number of questions mounting and the damaging media coverage, the Council Leader made a U-turn. Our West Lancashire were delighted that the council meeting ratified this policy reversal last week. Now, residents who kept a blue box in 2013 when blue bins were introduced will be treated equitably and receive a blue bin without charge up until the end of October”.

If you have used a blue box up to now, to order a blue bin online free of charge visit before 31 October 2018. The same web page can be used to request a free green bin for cardboard and paper if you did not have a green bin in the past because you had little or no garden waste. The council say that those who have recently paid £25 for a blue bin will automatically be refunded. This is yet another example of the influence and achievements possible with an Independent voice on the Council.

In October 2015, the Labour Council approved a draft Leisure Strategy which suggested Park Pool be considered for closure. Our near 1000-name petition prompted a screeching U-turn and subsequent work has shown the strong financial position of the pool.

Now, the council with the strong support of Our West Lancashire councillors has approved feasibility for a replacement pool and leisure centre for Ormskirk (and one for Skelmersdale too) to move to the detailed phase. A new swimming centre with additional facilities looks increasingly likely by 2022/23. We’ve come a long way since October 2015 but that wouldn’t have been possible without our campaign and the incredible support you as local residents gave it. Thank you. We remain the only political group in their financial plans to have committed £4 million of identified council funding towards the new pools.

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