Apology over bin collection delays

Cllr Stephen Shing  with resident Jodie Tidbury and Cllr Daniel Shing in Polegate
Cllr Stephen Shing with resident Jodie Tidbury and Cllr Daniel Shing in Polegate

Council bosses have apologised to residents living in Wealden after missed bin collections for some people ran into a fifth week.

In a letter to the Sussex Express, Bob Standley, Leader of Wealden District Council, said it was doing a number of things to rectify the problem.

Over the last four weeks the Express has reported how several residents in Hailsham, Polegate, Willingdon and Alfriston had been left with piling up rubbish.

Wealden District Council launched a new joint waste scheme with Eastbourne, Wealden, Hastings and Rother under contractor Kier.

But it ran into trouble in Wealden with some rubbish not collected. The council said the problems stemmed from binmen trying to familarise themselves with new routes.

In the letter, Mr Standley said: “Apologies can only go so far. Residents have been asking what we are doing to rectify the problems. Our conversations with Kier have been robust, both with local management and the Managing Director of Kier Environmental, and they have been and continue to put in considerable extra resources in staff and vehicles to bring the service levels back to normal. The numbers of missed bins have reduced considerably but there is still more to do, particularly in the more rural areas. The costs of these extra resources, including weekend working, will be paid for by Kier not the taxpayer.

“The responsibility for the overall service remains with this council and we would wish to assure residents that Wealden staff, councillors and Kier, including operators on the vehicles, are working hard to rectify the problems.”

In Polegate and Willingdon Cllr Stephen Shing said rubbish in some areas had still not been collected.

He said in Polegate, High Street, Eastbourne Road, Walnut Walk, and cul de sacs off Eastbourne Road were still waiting for rubbish to be collected. Wealden Distict Council said the rubbish was garden waste.

Cllr Shing said: “It has now been six weeks and we still have rubbish. We have received letters from many residents.

“They have put on extra dust carts but I don’t see any difference. The lady in the High Street [Jodie Tidbury], when I checked on Monday, she still had her rubbish and was still waiting for it to be collected.”

Meanwhile in Hailsham one resident said he was so frustrated he was going to take his uncollected rubbish to the council officers in Hailsham.

Roy Scarborough has an assisted collection for his garden waste, but it was left for more than six weeks. He said despite phone calls it was not collected.

Wealden District Council collected Mr Scarborough’s rubbish on Monday (August 19).

See letters page 34