Bridgwater Town Council rejects 3 weekly rubbish collection

"Bridgwater is NOT Wiveliscombe" says Town Council leader Brian Smedley
“Bridgwater is NOT Wiveliscombe” says Town Council leader Brian Smedley

At a meeting of Labour controlled Bridgwater Town Council tonight a unanimous vote of support for a motion to reject 3 weekly refuse collection was proposed by council leader Cllr Brian Smedley (Lab,Westover) and seconded by Cllr Mick Lerry (Lab,Victoria)  The Town Council will now write to Sedgemoor District Council to urge the withdrawal of the proposals.

Cllr Brian Smedley (Lab,Westover) said “We absolutely support the idea of more recycling and extending the service to include collection of recyclable plastics but the people of this town totally reject any move to 3 weekly collection of general waste. This is not an unreasonable demand as many areas around the country manage a weekly recycling collection and a fortnightly general waste collection -noticeably North Somerset just up the road. The trials for this hair brained scheme were based on a small section of the rural community of Wiveliscombe in Taunton Deane  and this is totally irrelevant to an overdeveloped built up urban area like Bridgwater with it’s terraces, flats and houses in multiple occupation. The proposals will simply lead to more fly-tipping, confusion regarding bin day and a build-up of uncollected rubbish. Clearly this is just a cynical cost cutting exercise by Tory controlled councils around Somerset and we oppose it.”

Cllr Dave Loveridge (Lab,Eastover) said “There is no valid reason for this change. What we’ve got is fine. 3 weeks is an odd number anyway. If it ain’t broke why fix it?!”

Sedgemoor Tories Back 3 weekly plan

Sedgemoor District Council’s Executive Committee, however, unanimously supported the 3 weekly move this week. Portfolio holder Cllr Gill Slocombe (Con, Wyndham) said “We have to make savings. The business case is sound. Recycling will continue as it was, there’ll just be one extra bag for plastics. I have trialled this myself and it’s not as onerous as it sounds. Of course it will be a challenge for some areas – flats and terraces, but rubbish is high on my agenda and people are clamouring for increased recycling. We have to do this, there’s no choice.”

Bridgwater Labour Opposes 3 weekly plans

"We want more recycling but we don't want 3 weekly collections" Cllr Kathy Pearce
“We want more recycling but we don’t want 3 weekly collections” Cllr Kathy Pearce

At the Sedgemoor Scrutiny committee that followed the Executive, Cllr Lerry and Cllr Smedley had attempted to get the Waste Partnership to undertake new trials  before implementing the 3 weekly collection or to roll out the programme just in rural areas and not in Bridgwater and after lengthy hours of wrangling the cross party motion that came out of scrutiny was to call for more pilots and trials in ‘some’ urban and rural areas to ascertain the impact on residents and that vehicles and containers be subject to a review before being implemented. However, this proposal will come up against the Executive plan to simply move to 3 weekly and will be put to full council on 14th December where Sedgemoors position will be decided.

Bridgwater Town Council Deputy Leader and Environment Spokesperson Cllr Kathy Pearce (Lab,Westover) said “We want people to be able to recycle as much as possible.  However, the proposed three weekly general waste collections will cause particular difficulty to those who are not able to recycle anything at the moment, particularly those who live in flats.  Therefore we want to hear from anyone who has limited or no recycling facilities.

Have your say

Contact Kath on  Anyone wishing to speak at the Sedgemoor Council meeting of Wednesday December 14th (2.30 Bridgwater House) should contact Democratic Services (01278 435435) or .

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