IT’S full council tonight and the Conservatives will ask at least one more question about Labour’s future plans for refuse collection in the borough. Bins might not sound hot stuff, but there is always that niggling worry among our local politicians about that mystery swathe of residents who more or less think that taking the bins away is essentially what their council tax pays for, and not much else. Potholes, and the bins.
At the last all member meeting of this kind, it all got a bit messy when the Tories pushed for a yes/no commitment over weekly bin collections from the Labour leadership. There was a bit of a wishy-washy response, but maybe that was because a Labour group discussion on the issue was held after that Tory motion.
The thrust to all of this is the idea that if everybody recycled more, then a weekly recycling collection could continue, while a refuse pick-up could then be pared back in some areas potentially to once every fortnight. Like in Haringey.
Behind closed doors at that Labour group meeting recently, potential difficulties with this strategy were raised. Several sources reported, to their surprise, that this private discussion led to a claim from within the room that one of the problems was that ethnic minority communities in Camden do not recycle enough.
Sally Gimson, the environment chief who will front out the news of any changes to collections, was quick to put that potential fire out, reminding the group that there was no statistical evidence for such an assertion and that lazy recyclers, according to the council’s stats, are more likely to be middle-aged men and younger residents.