Council Leader Defiant On Wheelie Bins
Steve Curran faces angry protests at Chiswick meeting
The leader of Hounslow Council remained defiant on the position of wheelie bins for Chiswick, despite angry objections at a stormy Chiswick Area Forum last week.
There will be no 'blanket ban' on wheelie bins for residents in Chiswick just because they do not like the idea of having them, Cllr Steve Curran said.
Facing an angry crowd of residents at the Chiswick Area Forum (CAF) in the Town Hall, Councillor Curran said officials would discuss individual problems with residents but the Council was going ahead with the project which would help recycling across the borough.
He admitted communication on the issue had not been as good as it should have been.
There were angry exchanges with residents at the meeting over the new method of refuse collection which is due to start in several local streets from November 25th. Several residents have had the new bins delivered already.
One resident told Cllr Curran that Chiswick was having to pay the price of low recycling rates in other parts of the borough and was being "used" by LBH as a means of enforcing a new regime.
"We want time for a proper debate, it's a change we believe is inappropriate" he said.
Several people said the bins were unsuitable for their streets as they had small front gardens, others that the recycling rate in Chiswick did not warrant having a wheeled bin which can take up to three black bin bags. Another resident questioned how having a big wheeled bin would help recycling when nobody would know what was put into it.
Cllr Curran confirmed that the position of 'opting out' of the wheeled bin collection was that residents would be responsible for disposing of their rubbish. There would be no blanket ban just because people didn't like the idea of having a wheeled bin, he said.
One resident said that cars were often parked bumper to bumper in her street. How would the bins be lifted onto the truck? Cllr Curran replied that all the relevant streets had been surveyed for accessibility. Streets that were deemed unsuitable, such as those terrace streets with no gardens in front, had not been chosen for the service. It was not a 'one size fits all policy', he said.
Marie Rabouhans, chair of the West Chiswick and Gunnersbury Park resident's group said she had asked for a delay in the implementation of the scheme so that a reasonable debate could be held with the people of Chiswick, but had received no response on this.
Cllr Paul Lynch said the bins were far too big and the problem of litter on Chiswick High Road should have been addressed as a priority instead. Cllr Samantha Davies said it was "retrogressive" to say people could dispose of their own rubbish if they opted out and it could encourage flytipping. Cllr Curran replied that most people were reasonable and would not fly tip. He reiterated the Council's plan to step up enforcement on littering in Chiswick.
Cllr Adrian Lee said Chiswick was being railroaded into a collection residents did not want. People in Chiswick were "fed up" of being dictated to by Lampton Road (Council's HQ)
He believed telling people to dispose of their own rubbish if they 'opted out' of a wheelie bin collection was in breach of the Council's statutory obligation to take away domestic rubbish. LBH could be up for a judicial review if they continued with their position on this, he added.
Cllr Curran dismissed this as "a lot of bluster" and said LBH was the 22nd out of 30 boroughs to introduce wheeled bins. It was necessary to help with recycling in the borough. They could not delay the date of collection of November 25th.
The wheelie bins issue was featured on the BBC lunchtime news today (Friday) and also on the Vanessa Feltz show on BBC London radio.
November 12th, 2014