Tory group are opposed to bin plans
More than 1,400 Merton residents have signed a petition opposed to plans to introduce wheelie bins in the borough.
The petition was handed to Merton Council by the Conservative group at a recent council meeting, with the Tories arguing they will be expensive and an eyesore.
But Labour says the wheelie bins will improve street cleanliness and will not be forced on households.
Councillor Henry Nelless, the Conservatives’ Environment spokesman said: "Labour’s plans will cost council taxpayers £4 million.
"Residents are concerned the bins will be too big for their front gardens, will be an eyesore and destroy the look of our neighbourhoods. The only place their plan is good for is one of their ugly wheelie bins.
"I would like to thank everyone who has registered their opposition to this rubbish plan. We urge Labour to rethink.
"They are pressing ahead with a policy that will cost millions of pounds of council taxpayers’ money when it could be saved altogether or spent on more worthwhile projects like improving our schools, town centres or parks."
But Councillor Andrew Judge, Labour's Cabinet Member for Environmental Sustainability, said: "The major reason for introducing wheeled bins is to improve street cleanliness.
"The use of plastic bags, which are so easily ripped or torn open by foxes, as well as open recycling boxes has led to a high level of litter and detritus in Merton’s streets. See the current article at: Merton Has England's Dirtiest Streets.
"It is true that there will be a cost to the introduction of wheeled bins, but it may properly be considered an ‘invest to save’ expenditure: through a new system of bins, street cleanliness will improve.
"It is good to see the use of petitions, but they need to based on correct information. The administration’s policy in introducing wheeled bins is to give householders a choice as to whether they have a bin.
"I have a real question mark in my mind as to whether Conservative canvassers for the petition explained to residents that they would have choice, or whether canvassers expressly or impliedly represented that wheeled bins would be forced on households."
July 17, 2010