14th Nov, 2018

Labour leader calls for Bromsgrove District Council leader to 'resign over summer bin crisis'

THE LEADER of Bromsgrove Labour Group Coun Michael Thompson is calling on district council leader Coun Geoff Denaro to resign over the bin collection saga.

The motion being the full council on Wednesday, September 19, claims the summer refuse crisis could have been avoided and was a case of clear mismanagement.

“The residents of Bromsgrove have paid for a service which, put simply, has not been delivered.

“The council meeting is open to the public and I urge people to come and show their support for this motion – the people of Bromsgrove are tired of paying higher taxes and receiving unacceptable levels of service. It is time for a change.”

Coun Denaro said he was disappointed with Coun Thompson’s actions.

“Yes we had a blip – because of holidays and a virus 41 per cent of our collection crews were not available – but it was nowhere near as bad as it was made out to be.

“There was talk of rubbish piling up on the streets and people comparing the scale of it to what happened in Birmingham last year.

“We only had six out of ten crews available and by tonight (Friday) everything will have caught up again.”

He added the council was looking at what could be done in the future to ensure it was prepared for any eventuality.

Coun Thompson had initially put forward a motion calling for ‘no confidence’ in the head of paid service Kevin Dicks to resign but claims he was told he could not do that and was ‘blocked by the council’.

A Bromsgrove District Council spokesperson said: “The motion proposed by Coun Thompson was not blocked. He withdrew it.

“We have a duty to advise our members over the legalities and financial implications of any proposed motions and any subsequent consequences which could ensue.

“The leader of Bromsgrove District Council Geoff Denaro supports the Chief Executive and the officers in the work they are doing to put right the difficulties that have arisen with the refuse service.

“We thank residents sincerely for their patience and continued support.”

Meanwhile Bill Newnes contacted The Standard calling for the district council to give residents a refund on some of their council tax for the non-collections.

“We have paid for something that has not been fully delivered that was documented in our council tax notification.”

A Bromsgrove District Council spokesperson said: “Council tax is not a payment for services, but is effectively a property tax.

“The funds are used to fund the county council, police, parishes and the district council, but are not directly linked to the services so no refund can be given.

“However, for information the weekly cost of collecting each household’s bins per household is less than the price of a chocolate bar, so any refund or credit process would cost more to administer than would be received by residents.

“This would put even greater pressure on the funds available to the council when we would rather use those funds to strengthen the service to avoid any future repeat of the recent disruption.”

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