Having your bins emptied is one of the most important services that any council should provide. Everyone relies on it.
Bin collection services must be efficient and deliver a comprehensive service that meets the needs of households and families in every community.
Last week, Stirling SNP and Labour councillors pushed through major changes to your bin collections. From Spring next year, your Grey Bin will only be collected ONCE A MONTH and you will now have to pay a charge to get your garden waste collected. The Blue Bin for your plastic and tins will also now only be collected ONCE A MONTH. Stirling SNP and Labour councillors also agreed plans to stop the dedicated glass collection service when the national deposit return scheme for drinks bottles and containers is introduced.
These are huge changes to your service in the Stirling region, and all done without one word of consultation before the decision was made. They became public less than a week before the decision was taken last Tuesday.
Scottish Conservative Councillors did their best to raise concerns and fought hard to have them rejected. However, the combined total of SNP and Labour Councillors gives them a majority on Stirling Council. Ignoring the huge numbers of objections from local residents and the adverse impact these changes will bring about, they used that majority to agree these cuts and new charges.
The sheer arrogance of SNP and Labour councillors in pushing these changes through without proper consultation and without assessing the impact these changes will have on local residents is clear for all to see. They are out of touch with what local residents want but don’t seem to care.
The Stirling Observer has also done an excellent job in highlighting these concerns and reflecting the anger so many feel about what has been done. Local papers are having a tough time now. Their ability to cover big issues like this acts as a reminder of what a vital role they play and our need to support them.
Stirling residents already pay one of the highest council taxes in Scotland. From next year you will be getting fewer bin collections for your money and be expected to take excess waste to your tips, if you are able to do so. Many are not. These changes are unfair.
We are in an unprecedented public health and economic crisis. Many families will be deeply worried as to what the future holds for them and money will be tight. This is not the time to introduce new charges and shows little concern for the challenges many are facing.
Unfortunately, we have also seen a similar lack of consultation with another important issue.
Stirling Council has decided to close parking on many High streets just as shops are finally being allowed to reopen. Such was the outcry from businesses in Bridge of Allan last week that the Council had to back down and change their plans. I very much hope that a lesson was learnt. Changes will need to be made but they must be done with communities’ involvement not imposed on them.
Scottish Conservatives have been making the case for weeks that the heavy handed, clumsy and muddled plans from the SNP have damaged our High Streets and local traders.
Let’s be very clear here. The UK Governments furlough scheme has been a great success but cannot continue indefinitely. Many people will be needing to get back to their jobs. Clearer thinking from the SNP Government is needed to ensure those jobs are there to return to.
This article was originally published in the Stirling Observer on Wednesday 8th July 2020.