Friday, 27 February 2015

The Great Southend Litter Bin Debate

The debate at yesterday's Budget Full Council reminded me of a Sunday Express headline from last month.

From my 8 years experience as a Councillor, I have found that the majority of residents take a great interest in their local environment. Litter strewn streets, dumped rubbish and missed waste collections were some of the common complaints which filled my inbox.

I have always believed that all people really want is a clean, safe and plesant environment to live in and be left alone to get on with their lives. If any proposals were put to me that did not meet this criteria, they would not be implemented.

As the environment is so important, it is why, I believe, the issue of litter bins was discussed at great length yesterday evening and featured in many members contributions to the budget debate.

The responses from some of the Independent Party to some well founded concerns were truly staggering.

First up we had the leader Cllr Ron Woodley who called the Conservatives budget amendment to save the litter bins from the chop as 'pathetic' and then claimed that litter bins in residential areas were not need and unnecessary, as there would be more street sweepers to clear up the rubbish in the new waste contract.

We then had Cllr Steve Aylen who proposed that more litter bins (in addition to the 55 earmarked for the chop) should be removed.

Next up was Cllr Ric Morgan who described the debate on litter bins as petty, nicely rounded off by Cllr Martin Terry, who claimed that putting litter in bins was a waste of taxpayers money and then preceeded to vote for the Conservative proposal to keep litter bins before hurridly asking the Town Clerk if he could change his mind.

I just have a sneaky suspicion that with attitudes like this at the heart of the Civic Centre, Southend will not be winning many awards for the cleanliness of our streets in the near future.

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