Conservative campaigners have protested outside the Stoke Gifford Sort It! centre, claiming that South Gloucestershire Council’s new charge for the collection of garden waste, which comes into effect today, will lead to “traffic chaos” around local recycling centres.
With an opt-in charge of £36 p.a. for the green bin garden waste collection service now in force, council officers are expecting an additional 75,000 trips p.a. to be made to the district’s civic amenity sites by residents who choose not to pay the fee, dubbed a “bin tax” by opponents.
Cllr Ian Adams (Siston and Warmley), the Conservative Lead Member on the council’s Communities Committee said:
“Feelings are already running very high locally about the existing traffic nightmare in and around the council’s Sort It centres, including at Stoke Gifford which simply cannot cope with the demand that is placed on it.”
“As a result, traffic backs up onto the main road, which delays people wanting to use the facility and means that nearby residents wanting to access their homes and go about their daily lives have to pull out into oncoming traffic in order to drive around queuing recyclers.”
“Lives are already being put at risk and it’s only a matter of time before there’s a serious accident, which is why we need to raise awareness.”
Labour councillors have accused the Tories of conducting a smear campaign against them by representing the new charge as “Labour’s bin tax”, a claim they say is untrue as only three out of the 13 councillors on the committee which made the decision introduce it are Labour.
For its part, Labour is pinning the blame for the unpopular charge on the government, which it says is forcing the council to find millions of pounds worth of savings.
The Liberal Democrats, who also voted to introduce the charge, say that if it had not been introduced, government cutbacks would have put libraries at risk of closure.
Photo: Conservative campaigners protest about the bin tax outside Stoke Gifford Sort It! centre in Station Road, Little Stoke.
Last 5 posts in South Gloucestershire Council
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