Wealden residents are asking for a reduction in their council tax after some have been left without bin collections for around a month.
Wealden District Councillor Daniel Shing says residents in Polegate, Willingdon and East Dean are ‘very disappointed ‘ with the service since the council joined forces with Eastbourne Borough Council, Rother District Council and Hastings Borough Council. The changes, which aim to cut costs and provide a better roadside recycling service, came in at the end of July.
However, some homes have been left without collection leading to overflowing bins, bad smells and pests such as maggots and flies.
Cllr Shing said, “There does not appear to have been any improvements since the new contact came into effect. A very small number of lucky residents have been able to get through to Wealden District Council’s phone lines and were promised that their bin would be collected in the coming days, despite what they were told, they have not been collected.
“Residents are very disappointed with the service, as a consequence, many residents have written to the Council to request a reduction in their Council Tax.”
Jude Tidbury said “It has now been nearly four weeks since my bins were emptied and the smell, flies and maggots that have now collected outside the back door of my flat are now unbearable.
“Also due to the pile up of bags we are now unable to get to the gas tap that is located in our back shed which poses a potential health and safety hazard for my family. As a result I am not able to let my children out in fear of them coming into contact with flies and maggots.”
Cllr Rowena Moore, Cabinet portfolio holder fro Customer Services and Benefits, said, “Kier, our waste contractor, has been concentrating on refuse and recycling collections as the new rounds settle in. We understand 95 per cent of these collections are now being successfully completed. This week Kier is putting more resources into green garden waste collections. I hope the residents Cllr Shing has spoken to will notice the difference.
“I am aware that there are a small number of residents who have gone a number of weeks without a collection.
“This is not good enough and in response to our concerns, Kier has carried out extra weekend collections. If these are still not proving successful, we need to know where the problem is. I’d like to thank the councillors for letting council staff know.”
It is not just Wealden District Council that has had problems.
Residents at Argyll Court in Faygate Road, Hampden Park, have not had their rubbish collected and now the seagulls and foxes have dragged out the contents of the bins.
Resident Anthony Venner said, “It will be the third week next week with still no sign of collection.
“They told us that it would be Friday. Friday I phoned and told it will be Saturday but still no collection.”
Another Eastbourne resident has told the Gazette about the problems she has had getting through to the council on the phone.
Francis Evelyne, of Hurst Road, “We pay council tax to get this service and we’re not getting it. I’ve called four times about the refuse and had to wait between 12 - 16 minutes. I’m not going to ring them anymore, I’ve given up.”
Councillor Gill Mattock, portfolio holder for finance, said, “Whenever a complex new system is introduced there are always a few teething problems and this has been the case as Kier fine tunes its collection rounds, and residents get used to the new system However, the new waste collection service has had a good start in Eastbourne with 98 per cent of bins emptied in the first week, and a similar figure in the second and third weeks. An increased number of residents have called the council and this has put our Customer First team under pressure. I would like to apologise to anyone who has had to wait longer than usual for a response. I would remind residents that they can also report a missed bin by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or via the council’s website. Overall, I am pleased with how the new service has started and I am confident that any early issues will quickly be resolved.”