Profit from poor planning


From: Paul Bundy

High Street, Westham

On Friday 9th March, Westham and, I have no doubt, surrounding villages did not receive their garden waste collection service.

I contacted Wealden on Monday to be told that it was cancelled due to exceptional weather conditions the previous week i.e. a handful of days of sub-zero temperatures and a small fall of snow, 8,000 properties missed their household waste collection and catching up with that is a priority for the council. As a result there will be no garden waste collection for a further two weeks.

The council calls it “exceptional circumstances” but what is exceptional about a few days of sub-zero weather in winter? I am more inclined to regard it as poor/non-existent contingency planning on the part of the council and its waste collection contractors. In my case, and I am sure applicable to many others, a fee is paid for an additional bin but under the council’s T&Cs they are entirely within their right to cancel collection while retaining the funds. They are therefore making a notional profit from their own mis-management. I would be interested to know Wealden’s policy when they start charging for all garden waste collection in the spring of 2019. At that point in time we will have two separate and distinct waste collection services – one paid for through council tax and one paid for entirely through private subscription. It is difficult to see how Wealden can legally justify subsidising the council tax financed waste collection by withdrawing the privately paid for service while continuing to retain the fees. I believe Eastbourne Council, who are introducing charges this year, will be operating a garden waste catch up service in the event of a missed collection. Will Wealden be adopting the same policy?