Concern at lack of publicity over bin consultation

Harborough District Council has launched a consultation over its fortnightly bin collections.
Harborough District Council has launched a consultation over its fortnightly bin collections.

Residents could be charged to have their green bins collected and see their black bins collected only once every three weeks as part of a huge overhaul of the service being considered by Harborough District Council.

Other major changes to the service, which would affect more than 80,000 people across the Harborough district, could include the return of the failed food-waste collections and green bins only being collected at certain times of the year.

The consultation, titled “Future delivery of your waste, recycling, street cleaning and grounds maintenance services”, has already come under-fire, mainly because it has been released with little fanfare.

Since the Mail highlighted the lack of publicity about the consultation on its website last week, the council has this week produced a press release about the possible changes.

Cllr Phil Knowles, the leader of the opposition Liberal Democrat group on the district council, has asked council chiefs for an explanation as to why the consultation was launched with scant publicity.

Cllr Knowles added: “Very few people are aware of the consultation. It is seemingly exploring the possibility of a once-every-three-weeks black bin collection, charging for green bin collections and only collecting it at certain times of the year – and the revisiting of the failed food-waste option.

“All have the potential to impact considerably on each household in the district and yet little has been done to even tell the public that the consultation is underway.”

Cllr Phil King, Harborough District Council’s deputy leader, said: “It is important every resident in the district has the opportunity to respond to the survey so we can take views on board. Our environmental contract is one of the council’s biggest outgoings, in terms of costs, and puts mounting pressures on our budget. It is important we maintain a high-quality service for our residents, but if costs are to be reduced, how the service is currently provided will need to change.”

In July, every home in the Harborough district will receive a copy of a questionnaire about the future of the service which can be filled in and returned to the council. The survey can also be completed online at www.harborough.gov.uk/ECconsultation.

Additionally, the questionnaire can also be filled out online on the computers provided in the foyer of The Symington Building in Adam and Eve Street, Market Harborough.

Originally the consultation was due to end on August 1, but it has been extended to August 15 to allow more time for residents to share their views.