Readers brand council cuts ‘disgraceful’

Council leader Barrie Grunewald said the authority had been left with no choice but to make "stark choices"
Council leader Barrie Grunewald said the authority had been left with no choice but to make "stark choices"

Reporter readers have branded £20m of council cuts - including the moving to four-weekly brown bin collections and cuts to special needs taxi services - as “disgraceful”.

Council leader Barrie Grunewald unveiled a package of measures designed to further pare back town hall services.

These includes moving to three and then four-weekly brown bin collections and significantly reducing home to school taxi services for disabled and special needs children.

Coun Grunewald said “stark choices” had to be made by councillors, who voted through the measures, because of continuing cuts in local authority grants by central government.

However, readers on our Facebook page were less than impressed with the council’s explanation, suggesting further cuts to top officials’ salaries could mitigate funding cuts.

Ian Holt posted: “Disgraceful. Cutting £20m from services yet the council tax will remain or increase.

“Our brown bin is full after two weeks so what will it be like after three to four weeks?

“We recycle as well and these bins are full on a weekly basis! Why not make the green bins four to six weeks? There isn’t that many people paying for this ‘service’ anyway.”

Lee Penketh believed council pay remains an issue. He wrote: “Reduction in transport for disabled kids to get to school? But yet ! bet none of them have took a pay cut or pay freeze!”

Joanne Dixon said the move to three and four weekly collections would cause severe problems. “There are seven living in my three bed house. I already recycle as much as I possibly can and now in two week collections.

“We struggle with our brown bin if they go to four weekly collections I will be using my green bin for household rubbish too. I don’t want flies and rats!”

David Pilkington admitted he would resort to drastic, if unlawful, measures to cope with the new bin collections. “I’m going on record now. I’m gonna become a serial fly tipper. My bins are full in a week. Council tax increases every year, services reduced. Had enough.”

Gary Ryder advocated a direct approach. “When bins are full we should take all extra rubbish and dump it on town hall steps,” he said. “Let them sort it out.”

Mark Smith added: “I drove through Birmingham a couple of weeks ago and the rubbish was piled up next to the bins on the streets. What next the tips will start charging for taking our rubbish there.”

Tony Kay added: “Always plenty of money available when they need it for their own projects but not much of available for basic public services.”