Missed bin complaints in Coventry have soared by nearly 90% in just three months according to data obtained under Freedom of Information laws. Conservative Councillors made the request after the Deputy Cabinet Member for City Services refused to disclose the figures in a public meeting.
In the disclosure the Council admitted that they’re carrying a number of vacant posts which they’re filling with agency workers. The policy has been adopted to reduce staffing levels naturally ahead of the switch to a fortnightly collection in September.
It’s the first time the Council has admitted the city wide problems have been created by staff shortages. On many occasions the Council has previously said that problems were isolated incidents such as access problems caused by parked vehicles - even an ‘excessive volume of garden waste’ was blamed on one occasion.
Conservative Councillors are seeking reassurances that the situation will improve when the new collection arrangements commence in September. Leader of Coventry Conservatives and Woodlands ward Councillor, Cllr Gary Ridley said; “Many residents have been affected by a number of missed bin collections and the huge rise in complaints is extremely alarming. With the switch to a new collection schedule residents will want assurances that we don’t end up with rubbish piled high like there is in Birmingham.”
Shadow Cabinet Member for City Services, Cllr Tim Sawdon said; “I can see why Labour councillors didn’t want to release this information. These figures reveal a very serious problem and the Council needs to get a grip – fast. With the warmer weather upon us, uncollected bins could become a magnet for maggots and other pests.”
One of the residents who has been affected is Mike Walker in Allesley Green. Commenting on the situation he said; “Collections were due to start on 8th March. Since then 10 collections were due but 60% weren’t collected until the following day and in one case not until the following Saturday. No one at the call centre seems to know where the crews are once they have left the depot. Surely there must be some contact? Surely a web site could be set up giving details of areas that are going to be missed with details of why and when the collection is likely to be made?”