Wheelie Bins Protest Taken To Hounslow Council Leader's Front Door
Locals in Brentford dump the new bins outside Cllr Steve Curran's house
Brentford residents opposed to 'wheelie bins' took their argument literally to the Council leader's front door when they dumped their new bins outside Cllr Steve Curran's house.
The bins had been delivered to locals as part of the controversial roll-out across the borough but furious locals decided to make their protest personal.
About 25 residents wheeled their bins up Braemar Road. Shouting “No wheelie bins in Brentford” they then placed the wheelie bins outside the council leader’s house and took photos. Cllr Steve Curran arrived at that moment, parking his car at speed and then shouted at the protestors to “p*** off”.
Several residents tried to put questions to Mr Curran - about why there had been no consultation about wheelie bins, if he thought they were a blight on the local community, and why petitions and communications to local councillors had been met with silence. Mr Curran was visibly angered by one resident who asked him “why have we been disenfranchised by the democratic process?”
Cllr Curran said in a statement today (November 20) that while he firmly believes in the right to protest, there are appropriate ways to make feelings known. He said he was being harrassed and felt threatened and access had been blocked to his house.
Cllr Steve Curran
Many residents claimed that they have not been consulted on the roll-out of bins and that protests via an online petition, a street petition and vociferous argument at last week's Isleworth and Brentford Area Forum have all fallen on deaf ears.
Their protest will find resonance with many people in Chiswick who are against the introduction of wheeled bins and who argued that their homes, particularly terraced houses, are not suitable. The rollout, which has already seen 27,000 homes, including Chiswick, receive a wheelie bin collection service, has continued throughout this month and is expected to be completed by March 2016. The scheme is costing £850,000 but the Council says it will save £500,000 in recycling, a fact that many, including Chiswick councillor John Todd, dispute.
Cllr Steve Curran's statement said: “I firmly believe in the right to protest and I know people feel very strongly, both for and against the introduction of wheelie bins, but there are appropriate ways to make your feelings known.
"As Leader of Hounslow Council, I take full responsibility for the decisions we take, but it’s simply not appropriate for a crowd of people to heckle and barrack me at night, outside the home which I share with my family. Nor is it right to prevent access in and out of my house with wheelie bins. Protesting outside my house is also not fair to my neighbours.
“I had no option but to call the police as I was being harassed and felt threatened.
“Council matters should always be debated in the right environments such as Area Forums, Cabinet and Borough Council meetings."
Chiswick councillors have criticised Hounslow Council in the past, for extending the wheelie bin collection across the borough, saying research indicates that it does not improve recycling.
The statement from Cllr Curran continued, “If you don’t use your wheelie bin; or if you tell us you don’t want one, it will be removed. The dozens of bins that I am told were left again this morning (Friday) blocking access in and out of my house have all been removed.
“To be absolutely clear on this, if we take away your wheelie when the council has assessed your property as being suitable for the new collection service, it then becomes a household’s responsibility to get rid of their rubbish. We will not collect any waste left out in black bags where households have refused to use their wheelie bins. You can take your rubbish to Space Waye the borough’s Hounslow’s re-use and recycling centre. Anyone found to be fly tipping will be prosecuted.
“The borough-wide roll out of wheelie bins follows positive comments from residents already using wheelie bins. In a recent survey more than two-thirds of those who responded were satisfied with the service, and almost two thirds also agreed that their street was cleaner as a result of introducing the new service. I urge everyone with reservations about the new bins to give them a go.
“If you have had your wheelie bin removed and you would like it returned, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 8583 2189 to arrange this.”
November 21, 2015