'Thanks but no thanks' to weekly rubbish grant

PUBLISHED: 13:00 08 October 2011

Archant

NORTH Somerset Council has said 'thanks but no thanks' to an offer of cash to help the district return to weekly black bag collections.

Contractor May Gurney currently collects food and green box rubbish every seven days from most households, but residents have to wait for a fortnight to have garden and black bag refuse picked up.

This week the Government’s Communities Secretary Eric Pickles asked to set up a £250million fund to help local authorities return to weekly collections across the board.

He also suggested encouraging recycling by offering families vouchers in return.

But this week North Somerset Council executive member for environment, Councillor Peter Bryant, says the authority plans to decline Mr Pickles’ offer.

Cllr Bryant said: “In answer to the most generous offer of a grant towards reinstating weekly refuse collections, our reply is ‘thanks but no thanks’.

“It has taken 18 months to get here with recycling, but if people have their black bags collected every week, it will discourage that.

“To return to weekly collections would be a step back.

“And the grant would only be for five years, so what would happen then? It would go back to the taxpayer.

“The most sensible decision is to say ‘no’.”

May Gurney was awarded the refuse collection contract for North Somerset last year and following a rocky start, most households are now able to recycle.

Cllr Bryant added: “It is my greatest wish that the service provided will prove to be the best in the West.

“That will be good for May Gurney, good for North Somerset and more importantly good for the residents of North Somerset.”

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