In the first big policy announcement of Conservative Party Conference, David Cameron has told the Daily Mail that a Conservative Government will find the money to allow councils to restore weekly bin collections for all households.
Just over half of councils have scrapped weekly collections.
The Mail notes:
"The average cost of weekly collections is £59.80 per household per year, compared to £44.63 for fortnightly ones. That means the total cost of moving back to weekly collections is £121million. The Tories say they will raise £133million by scrapping funding for a range of inspectorates, regional assemblies, Labour’s new planning superquango and forcing councils to spend less on promotion."
The following bullet points were issued in a CCHQ press release this morning:
- "A Conservative Government will change Whitehall policy so that there is an expectation that councils should offer full weekly collections, ending and reversing the Labour policy of bin cuts, which are harming public health and the local environment.
- Central funding will be offered for all councils to have a proper weekly collection, so they can offer a proper refuse service, as well as comprehensive recycling collections. This will be provided by scrapping a series of unelected quangos and local government bureaucracy.
- Councils, subject to the ballot box, will still have the final decision on what services to offer – but they will no longer be forced and bullied into cutting services because of Whitehall diktats.
- Gordon Brown’s plans for new bin taxes will be scrapped. Labour’s stealth taxes threaten to harm the environment by fuelling fly-tipping and backyard burning.
- Conservatives will champion green incentives – from trials for free green compost bins, water butts, green cones and garden wormeries, to the ‘Recyclebank’ scheme, used in America, where householders are paid for recycling.
- New powers will be given to councils to introduce local council tax cuts for recycling and green behaviour."
“Gordon Brown is making it increasingly hard for families to throw away their waste responsibly. Despite soaring levels of council tax, local residents are being hit by cuts to collections, over-zealous use of bin fines and the prospect of expensive new bin taxes which will push up the cost of living. Councils are getting the blame for policies imposed by Whitehall. Conservatives believe that decent rubbish collections are a vital front-line council service to help protect the local environment and public health. We reject Labour’s approach of state bullying, cutting services and higher taxes. We will provide funding for those councils that wish to introduce proper weekly rubbish collections, on top of comprehensive recycling services. We will make it easier for families to go green and increase recycling by working with households, not punishing them with heavy-handed bin taxes, bin cuts and bin fines."