ONGOING CONSULTATION AS RECYCLING TO BE INCREASED
Stirling SNP MP Alyn Smith and MSP Bruce Crawford have criticised Stirling Tory Councillors for playing petty politics as a new bin collection model was approved at a recent meeting of the Council.
Starting in July next year, Stirling Council will move to a four-weekly bin collection for grey (general waste) and blue (plastics, cartons and cans) bins.
There will also be an opt-in garden waste service, with a £35 annual charge by April 2021.
As of July 2022, residents will be able to put their glass waste in the large blue bin as mixed recycling, if they chose not to use the deposit return scheme.
The local authority will consult with residents to assess who needs extra support and additional service. This includes additional bins, a pull out service, and the ability to arrange for waste such as nappies to be picked fortnightly.
The changes were introduced by the Council Administration to address a budget deficit, caused in part by the Tories’ serious spending errors in local waste management when they were last in charge of Stirling’s finances.
The savings made with the introduction of the new service will help to pay for the rollout of new collection bins as the current stock is unsuitable for pickup services.
Alyn Smith MP said:
“The Council took some difficult decisions in order to protect waste services in Stirling. Having discussed this at length with colleagues, I understand that they have given a longer implementation timescale to introduce the new system in a workable way. For my part, I will work closely with colleagues on the Council to ensure that proper dialogue is happening with local residents, so that flexibility is there and that their needs can be met.
“For Tory politicians to use this situation to score cheap political points is nothing short of shameful. Local services in Scotland have suffered from a decade of austerity, caused by the Tories. No reasonable increase in Council Tax can ever plug that hole. If the Tories want to see services restored, perhaps they can join with SNP colleagues and I in calling on the UK government to restore Scotland’s public funding.”
Bruce Crawford MSP said:
“I recognise the concern that some people have expressed to myself and others, and I am pleased that the Council have indicated that they will consult with residents as the new policy is introduced, and that where additional support is needed on an individual basis, it will be given. Other Councils – of all parties – already use these systems, so it can work well if properly managed, and myself and my SNP colleagues fully intend to work with the Council and local residents to ensure that it is implemented successfully.
The mess that the Council are trying to clear up in waste services is of the Tories’ own making from when they were in charge of Stirling’s finances. Everyone remembers just a few years ago when they last rolled out the new fleet of bins, and the chaos it has since caused for pickup trucks.
“Add this onto the backdrop of a decade of Tory austerity and the threat of a further recession as a result of this pandemic crisis, and it’s clear that changes had to be made to waste collection in order to maintain the service.”
SNP Environment Spokesperson, Cllr Jim Thomson said:
“It wasn’t an easy decision to take, but it was one that we had no choice but to act upon, in response to the mess that the Tories had left our waste management service in. Arriving at a solution to this problem meant working cross-party in the Council, and we included the Tories in this discussion at all stages – despite what they are attempting to tell local residents now.
“By implementing these changes, we have protected the service as a whole – which is more than can be said for some Tory run Councils across the country where some kerbside pickups have been abolished entirely.
“I will continue to work closely with officers to make sure that this is rolled out properly. We will be consulting with residents to make sure that they are getting the level of service that they need.
“And as a result of this approach, we will be able to introduce a waste collection service that works properly and is safe and suitable for pickup.”