THE consultation on new waste plans for the New Forest, including introducing wheelie bins, is flawed and loaded, members of Hythe and Dibden Parish Council have claimed.
As reported in the A&T, the district council recently launched a consultation on plans to move away from weekly collections of rubbish and recycling sacks. There is currently no service for food waste, and glass is collected every four weeks.
If given the go-ahead, the new scheme would see collections on alternate weeks for rubbish and recycling, and a separate weekly food waste pick-up.
The plans were blasted by members of the Liberal Democrat-controlled parish council as they discussed it at a meeting on Wednesday last week.
Cllr Mark Clark said he was not happy with the way the questionnaire had been put together. He said: “It’s a loaded consultation. It leads you to one single conclusion, which is what the council wants in place, which is the wheelie bins. I take issue with the questionnaire and the consultation.”
Chairman of the council, Cllr Malcolm Wade, said: “Having been a councillor for many years, that is what local government consultation seems to be like. They want a result, they send out a consultation to meet that.”
Cllr Alex Wade told the meeting it was important the council represented the feedback it had received from residents. He said: “We all know the community has different houses, different roads, different issues. A wheelie bin works perfectly in one area and it really doesn’t in another. People have different views, very strong views on all sides.”
He added: “I think we should emphasise that we welcome food waste being dealt with but have concerns about the current survey and the accessibility of it for those who cannot go online [to fill it out].
“As a council we should represent the frustration of the timescale and the type of consultation and the lack of ability to comment.”
Cllr Phillip Dowd added: “I do think we need to make a strong case for reduction, and that is the main focus. That has to be the forefront in any waste strategy.
“I also think we need to put pressure on comments about the county giving a new contract to Veolia before this exercise was done, which is going to restrict what can be collected in terms of waste, so there are bigger issues there.”
Members agreed to write individual comments on the consultation which would be compiled into one formal response before being sent to NFDC.
As reported in the A&T, the proposals were rejected by Copythorne Parish Council, with its members also attacking “misleading” information about the costs of the scheme. They said the report lacked clarity and have sent a long list of questions to NFDC officers.