MOVES to end Wigan’s weekly black bin collection now face a fresh challenge.
The council’s official opposition are demanding that the Metro end proposals to switch to a fortnightly operation from next autumn.
Independents Group Leader Coun Gary Wilkes has now tabled a motion for debate at November’s full council after “overwhelming” support from members of the Wigan public who have contacted him.
He is urging Waste Disposal bosses at the town hall to take a slice of the £250m Government money offered by Local Government Minister Eric Pickles for those authorities who were prepared to maintain the traditonal seven day collection system.
Coun Wilkes insists that he has “swamped” by angry messages on his councillor Facebook page from householders fearful of the effects if they lose the weekly collection facility.
Families say they are increasingly worried about an increase in rat and vermin infestation, strong smells making it unpleasant to use gardens in the summer along with a general health risk.
Coun Wilkes said: “I am a big supporter of recycling personally, but I am here to serve the public and I have been contacted by so many residents via Facebook demanding that the council keep the weekly collections that I feel duty bound to put forward this resolution.
“I do think that this Labour council are playing politics with the issue and I don’t think that they have looked at this pot of money properly that the Coalition Government are offering not to go fortnightly.
“The people of the borough that I have spoken to feel that they are losing out on a service they are paying for with council tax and they are dead against it happening.
“If the Government are providing the finance to keep weekly collections going we should at the very least be giving it a proper and serious consideration.”
Council chiefs have now approved waste plans that could save £14m from the borough’s waste disposal and recycling budget over the next nine years. The council faces being hit with big government fines if it does not raise its composting and recycling rates, from the current 36 per cent to 50 per cent by 2020.
They are now set to introduce in autumn 2012 would be “managed” weekly collections in September 2012, with black and green bins emptied alternate weeks.
Brown bins for plastic and glass and blue bins for cardboard and paper, would become fortnightly.