WIGAN residents should not miss out on bin collections as a result of this month’s strike action, the leader of the borough’s opposition has said.
Coun Gary Wilkes has called on officers to dip in to reserve funds to put in place contingency plans.
Local government workers are set to strike on Tuesday October 14, the second time this year.
Residents in some areas of the borough were forced to wait four weeks for bin collections as a result of the July strikes.
Coun Wilkes, leader of the Wigan Independent Network (WIN), raised the issue at a recent meeting of the full council.
He told the Evening Post: “The council has millions of pounds in its reserves to use in cases of emergencies or on schemes it feels fit. The money it saves on strike day from not paying wages should be used to employ a local company to empty the bins that will be missed.
“In my view striking is old-fashioned and achieves nothing, the council has the time and money to ensure bins are emptied by alternative means. But they opt to sit back and use this as a political tool in a negative way.”
Unions across several public sector services are set to take industrial action in the week commencing October 13 over pay disputes.
Residents in Lowton, Golborne, Spring View, Abram, Ashton and Hindley were affected as bin collections were hit by mechanical problems around the July strike day.
But council officers told the Evening Post that auxiliary collections would not be taking place.
Alison McKenzie-Folan, council director for customer transformation, said: “If the strike goes ahead, a number of services are likely to be disrupted. However, based on the fact that only 13 per cent of staff took part in the last action we’re not expecting the latest strike to impact significantly, with the exception of waste collection services.
“The biggest impact will be on bin collections. Those bins scheduled for collection will not be until the next scheduled collection day. In the meantime residents should take their extra waste to one the three Household Waste Recycling Centres and utilise their recycling bins to give them extra space in their black bin.”