MP Norman Baker criticises district council for bins problems

MP Norman Baker
MP Norman Baker

Polegate and Alfriston’s MP trashed Wealden District Council over its ongoing ‘mishandling’ of the new recycling service across the region.

Norman Baker said the council’s claim it is averaging a 95 per cent collection rate leaves thousands of households with litter on their doorsteps, especially in rural areas such as Alfriston.

He has been in contact with senior staff at the council expressing his concerns and has written to Trevor Scott, Wealden’s Director of Environmental Services.

Assurances were given that the ‘fiasco’ would be dealt with within six to eight weeks of the introduction of new recycling services, he said.

It is now coming up to that initial deadline yet problems remain widespread across the region.

Wealden is requesting that residents report where bin collections have been missed so that they can be logged and passed to their agents, Kier.

It is recommended this is done via email to avoid lengthy delays currently being experienced over the phone.

Mr Baker said: “It is simply unacceptable that weeks after problems were identified, local residents are still facing problems with their bin collection.

“It has been many weeks since the changeover and my constituents in Polegate and Alfriston have seen little improvement in their situation.

“Furthermore, the many complaints this issue is producing daily have now clogged up many of the means of contact with Wealden and this is leading to further problems as residents struggle to have other issues addressed.

“This whole fiasco has gone on long enough. Wealden has made many promises but we now need to see real actions and solutions.

“I hope that ultimately, this new service does bring about a more efficient and greener refuse collection, but currently this seems a long way off with many hurdles to overcome before this vision is a reality.”

Council leader Cllr Bob Standley said: “Wealden Council are aware of the concerns of residents, highlighted by Norman Baker, from across the district who are experiencing delays on the collection of waste and recycling since the new system was introduced from July 22.

“We have apologised to residents affected and increased staffing within the contact centre to improve response times.They will improve further when the waste collection performance returns to the previously satisfactory level. We are working with Kier to achieve that level of service that the Council and our residents demand. “