Rosie Cooper MP

Working hard for the people of West Lancashire

23/07/07 MP Rosie calls for council to come clean over charges

West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper and District Councillor Terry Aldridge are calling on the Conservative-controlled District Council to come clean about residents facing service charges.

This demand follows the charge for bulky waste collection service that has been free up to now. From October 1 local residents will have to pay, £12.50 plus VAT, if they want the council to remove large items.

Rosie said:

“I call on the Council to come clean about what other plans they’ve got for introducing even more charges for services that people believe they have already paid for through their council tax."

“This is an arrogant council that takes people for granted, doesn’t listen to them and believes whatever they do people will just accept it. It seems the Council wants it all. You pay council tax then they make you pay and pay and pay again."

"This is the Council that has introduced fortnightly bin collections, then they fine you when waste is not disposed of correctly, make you wait 8 to 10 weeks to collect bulky waste; the council that wanted to sell off the council houses, and that has sold off leisure services. And yet they want to spend millions of pounds on new civic offices just a few yards from the existing site.”

“People could be forgiven for asking, what is the council for?”

Councillor Terry Aldridge raised a series of questions with Conservative portfolio holder, David Westley, about this service without satisfactory response.

Terry said:

“It is unbelievable that local residents will have to pay twice if they want bulky waste items collected. People already have to wait 8 to 10 weeks for items to be collected. Who would pay for this type of service?"

“It appears that this charge will apply equally to everyone. I believe there is a need for concessions for groups such as pensioners who may not be able to afford this charge and are not able to get rid of the bulky items themselves. The Conservative Council would not even entertain the idea.”

“I believe we will see an increase in fly-tipping across West Lancashire when the council starts charging people to collect their bulky waste. Once again the Conservative portfolio holder couldn’t provide an answer about how they would tackle this problem.”

At the council meeting it is reported the Finance portfolio holder, Adrian Owens, said that the council does not have to provide this service.

In response to this Councillor Aldridge commented:

“This is hardly a responsible attitude from the finance portfolio holder. It seems this is the standard answer from this council though, whether it is bulky waste collection or providing a cemetery for local residents. I know the people of West Lancashire expect more.” 

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