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The UK's newest city may not be able to afford weekly bin collections

In the Full Council Meeting that took place this month weekly bin collections were discussed in view of referring it back to cabinet.

The coalition are in favour of allowing fortnightly collections depending on the cost of weekly versus fortnightly.

How did we get to a position where we cannot even afford weekly collections?

Who is asking the question as to how this has happened?

Why is our budget being slashed so much?

If we can’t get weekly bin collections, what next are we going to have to swallow?

Labour are setting out the argument that the wastage tender process should allow for both weekly and fortnightly collections.

This is on the basis that if they only allowed weekly proposals, and those proposals came out vastly too expensive, council tax would inevitably need to be put up.

There is logic here, but this not what any of us want.

I would like to know the details of why the waste companies are struggling to make a profit when it is the biggest contract the council have to offer.

I would like to know the details of their business models.

I would like to know why the coalition are making such assumptions already. What is it they know that we don't?

We should never be in a position that we cannot afford weekly bin collections. We are one of the richest countries on the planet and the south east the richest region.

We can afford this, but someone, somewhere is blocking this.

When Southend's budgets get slashed, instead of feeding a narrative that we are broke and will have to raise council tax, we ought to be asking publicly where our money has gone.

As it stands we seem to meekly accept it and then defend the indefensible.

We should be shouting from the rooftops to our MPs to make the case that this is not acceptable.

There are billions being spend across the country, including Southend e.g. £4m on pavement at the top of the high street. I know this money could only be spent on that project, but the point being that if national government has this money available for vanity projects, it means it has this money.

The point being that campaigns needs to start locally to stop earmarking money for this while we cannot even get the basics covered.

Confelicity will be the very worst polite customer. At every turn we will be asking for the money that we deserve; question constantly why we haven’t got it; and call out those people that are responsible.

And you know why we can do this?

Because we do not have to adhere to any national party instruction, bureaucracy, agenda and someone’s personal political ambition.

A coalition councillor said that he had spoken to people about fortnightly collections and after explanation they were not quite so vehement about weekly. I tend to take the view that if you have to explain, refrain.

Yes, Rochford run fortnightly collections, but that area does not have the number of flats and HMOs that Southend does. Fly-tipping will be rife because people will not keep rubbish in their properties. Southend will be even more of a mess after bin day is now!

It will cost more to clear it up and it is unlikely that will be in the contract.

Convincing people through clever argument is not the same as doing the obvious thing.

The coalition are running the line that if we only tendered for weekly collections, council tax would go up in the case that none of the six companies could do it at cost similar to current levels. This means that they definitely are considering fortnightly collections if the price were right.

The councillors who are part of the coalition and absolutely want weekly collections are in a difficult position. They are required to vote as instructed by the whip and must put the party before Southend otherwise there will be consequences for their position.

This is how politics gets in the way of what is best for the city.

For clarity, in our 2022 manifesto Confelicity did unanimously vote for weekly only collections.

The Tories wished for this motion to be referenced back to cabinet, however, it was voted down. This means the door is now wide open for fortnightly collections, and whilst it has not and may never happen, it is right to publicise to the residents of Southend that it is now a very real possibility.

incidentally below are the results of weekly collections in the Kursaal ward.

I feel confident matters would not improve with the changes that are being considered.

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