Since the announcement of a council plan to remove of a third of York’s bins, the saga of York’s declining bins has sparked debate, protest and anger among residents and councillors alike. Now, in a council meeting held this week, the Labour Council continued resolute in their decision, overruling opposition from Liberal Democrat, Conservative, Green and Independent Councillors.
The full council meeting held last Thursday saw York’s Liberal Democrat group put forward a possible refuge resolution suggesting an alternative means of recuperating the £4,000 cost of the bins would be to cut the number of Labour Cabinet members from eight to six. The number of Labour cabinet members has remained an area of controversy since it was announced that the cabinet would increase the number of members after winning the council election in May 2011.
However, the Labour councillors failed to be diverted in their plans by these suggestions, refusing to return the 349 litter and dog bins they recently removed from York’s streets.
Cllr Ann Reid, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Environmental Services who moved the motion of opposition told minster.fm: “It is disappointing that Labour prioritised their own pay packets over frontline services. Across the city people have been annoyed and concerned by the removal of 349 litter and dog bins without any consultation. Our motion simply asked Labour to recognise this and put back all bins where there was demand to do so….Frontline services have been axed in favour of pay increases for councillors.”
She added her fears about the consequences of such plans: “Removing bins will lead to more litter and a general deterioration in the look and feel of our streets. We believe these cuts are wrong and unnecessary and we have now launched a city-wide petition to try to get Labour to listen to residents and get the bins back.”
At the time of the removal, Sandy Fraser, Labour cabinet member for environmental services, said the decision had been taken in order to prioritise spending on social care and job promotion.
Mrs Fraser said: “These bins are either under-used, which is wasting money in collections, used illegally for household or commercial waste, or are close to other bins. We will assess the impact of the removed bins to ensure it doesn’t have a negative impact on our communities in terms of any increase in littering.”