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4th Jul, 2022

Lessons learned from wheelie bin controversy - councillor claims

Malvern Editorial 24th Jan, 2014 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

THE LEADER of Malvern Hills District Council has stated he wishes to draw a line under the controversial introduction of wheeled bins which has become an ‘infectious’ issue.

Coun David Hughes was reacting to a council report published last week which revealed there was a lack of openness and transparency during the project in 2012.

He said ‘serious consideration’ would be given to the findings and recommendations of the investigation and the council’s Executive committee would respond to it.

“If this report does anything it should be the spirit of it and not the detail.

“It was produced because of a single project, yes it was a very important one, but I will look at how this report relates to all of other projects which go on.

“The situations detailed in this report concerning this project are different to all of the others.”

Once more the leader defended the move to introduce wheeled bins, which was backed by

Government funding, and hoped this latest enquiry would bring an end to the ill feeling many councillors still harboured towards the decision.

“It has become very infectious all of this. Everybody I have spoken to thinks the service has been a successful implementation.

“Had we not gone down this road and taken the funding opportunity to retain weekly residual collections, we would be looking at alternative weekly collections for the services.

“We would not have been able to afford them otherwise.”

The report which was tabled before the council’s Overview and Scrutiny committee last Tuesday (January 14) makes ten recommendations to improve the development of policies in the future.

It calls for councillors to be informed as soon as possible on fundamental changes to the delivery services.

Further suggestions include making the options councillors can vote on a lot clearer, and establishing the differences between ‘workshops’ and ‘briefings’ as well as recording those who choose to attend.

Coun John Raine, member of the Overview and Scrutiny committee, said the report had thrown light on the whole matter and he to expressed the desire to see a line drawn under ‘an uncomfortable period for us all’.

It was also claimed certain councillors prepared poorly for meetings which also contributed towards the controversy over wheeled bins and other important political debates.

Tuesday’s discussion ended abruptly however when Coun Tony Warbuton, a member of the investigating group, spoke out.

He said he did not want the report to ‘run into the sand’ and claimed the council had lacked ‘candour’ when introducing wheeled bins, which prompted committee chairman Mike Morgan to bring a halt to the debate stating ‘I can’t allow that’.

The report recommends progress is reviewed in 12 months by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

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