My open letter to West Hill residents on the subject of communal bins
I live on the West Hill. In fact I am the only candidate for the coming election who lives in Castle. I have been actively involved in campaigning against communal bins for the West Hill since the idea was first mooted by the Conservative Council in 2008. We celebrated in 2009 as the Council abandoned its plans in the wake of the WHAC campaign; and then WHAC had to re-organise at the end of 2011 when the Labour Cabinet member for the Environment suggested that communal bins were still a possibility for the West Hill.
Let me make it absolutely clear where I am on this – I want refuse and recycling solutions that have the support of the local community, and which increase recycling rates. The Council has failed to engage in a proper discussion with local residents about what will work here on the West Hill. There should be no changes to the current arrangements without proper consultation. If elected, I will call a meeting in partnership with West Hill groups and residents to discuss how to increase recycling rates and ensure that our streets are clean.
There is no evidence to suggest that communal bins increase recycling rates, and the residents of the West Hill are rightly concerned about the implications of them in respect of anti-social behaviour, fly-tipping, access for disabled and older residents, and parking. My position on communal bins for the West Hill has not changed since 2008: I back WHAC. I hope the West Hill will back me to represent our views at the Town Hall.