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Letter to Wokingham.Today 17th September 2020

September 29, 2020 8:00 PM
By Paul Fishwick

I refer to your article on the introduction of the non-hessian hessian sacks, published in the paper dated 17th September 2020. The Borough Council leader John Halsall is quoted as saying that if the Lib Dems wanted more information "I would have given it to them - they just had to ask for it."

I therefore refer to my written question, submitted on Monday 7th September to the Executive Committee meeting scheduled for 11th September, which was well within the deadline for questions.

My question was as follows; Looking at Table 1 (pages 23 and 24) in the Wet Waste Options Appraisal (Appendix 1), could you tell me how these authorities collect paper and card, when they introduced this system and what impact it has had on recycling rates?

The reason I asked this question was to ascertain what evidence had been obtained from authorities that apparently use the proposed sacks that Wokingham Borough Council wanted to introduce as there was nothing in the appraisal report. As Cllr Halsall had said "I just had to ask for it".

In response to my question Cllr Halsall said "I am afraid that we are going to have to give you a written answer as the question came in very late. It is such a detailed question that Officers have not been able to research those questions".

Therefore, Cllr Halsall has admitted that the Council has not researched the authorities that apparently use these sacks but wants to introduce them for the residents in Wokingham.

My own research of all the authorities has shown that none of them collect waste and recycling the same as Wokingham Borough Council.

For example, Brentwood only started their new system on the 3rd August 2020 and use a Blue sack for paper and card, a White sack for cans and plastic and a Red box for glass.

Cheltenham Borough use a blue bag for card only. All other recycling is collected in boxes with lids.

Monmothshire who commenced a trial of 2,000 homes are now extending their trial until September 2021, so in my mind they are not convinced yet.

I could go on through the whole list, but I won't now.

So, how could the Conservative Executive make an informed decision based on such lack of evidence and detail for its council taxpayers?

Paul Fishwick, Liberal Democrat, Winnersh ward, Wokingham Borough Council