RESIDENTS whose bins are not collected should receive a refund from the council, according to one Hounslow councillor.
Hounslow Council has received £54,000 in fines from SITA – the company that runs the service – for failure to collect rubbish since it launched a new waste and recycling scheme in March.
And Liberal Democrat leader Councillor Andrew Dakers believes the council should pass that money on to people who are inconvenienced by missed collections.
He said: “If residents are suffering from a poor service, shouldn't they be given some sort of refund for that? I would say there is a strong argument that it would focus the minds of the contractors and the council if some or all of this money was refunded to residents. That's the line I would take.”
Under the terms of the contract, every time an entire street is missed by SITA the contractor is fined £100 but leader of the council Councillor Peter Thompson believes passing this money back to taxpayers is impractical.
“Cllr Dakers fanciful suggestion of refunding residents in affected streets clearly shows that he is only interested in cheap headlines to bolster his own political ambitions. He clearly has no idea of the practical problems and costs of such a scheme,” he said. “Moreover in the vast majority of cases where a street is missed it has been collected by the next day. Every missed street is one too many and despite our dramatic success in increasing recycling by residents, we will not rest on our laurels and will continue to support SITA to improve service levels further.”
The council has collected an extra 1,500 tonnes of recycling since the scheme began but Cllr Dakers thinks it could have been much more.
“I acknowledge that there has been a substantial increase in recycling but there is the reality that the introduction of the service was a mess. The sensible thing would have been to pilot it in a small area and work on the problems before introducing it borough-wide,” he said.
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