Local Liberal Democrat councillors have charged the ruling South Gloucestershire Conservative group with hypocrisy over their failure to rule out green waste charges, despite having made it the key plank of their 2015 election campaign. Far from ending charges, the Conservatives are actually making it more expensive for South Glos residents to reduce the waste they produce – sneaking out hikes in the cost of compost bins (up 20%) and reusable nappy kits (up 13%).
Lib Dem Council Group Leader, Cllr Claire Young said: “The Conservatives came to power in South Gloucestershire in 2015 on the back of a promise to phase out green waste charges. This featured on the front page of their local election manifesto. Back before the last election one Conservative councillor went so far as to suggest that lives would be put at risk if the green waste charge was not scrapped! Yet four years on and the charge is still with us and isn’t even being cut this year, let alone scrapped.
“The Conservatives owe the people of South Gloucestershire an apology for making this flashy and unrealistic promise before the last election, and then failing to deliver on it after four years in power. After this, why should anyone believe what they say going into the local elections this May?”
Lib Dem recycling spokesperson, Cllr Tony Davis said: “To add insult to injury, the Conservatives have just slipped out a raft of price hikes to services designed to help residents reduce waste. Compost bins have gone up in price, making in more expensive for residents to compost at home and avoid the green waste charge. And reusable nappy kits will see a price hike of a whopping £17.40. The risk is that with this extra cost to residents, we will see more unrecyclable disposable nappies going into black bins and being sent off to be incinerated. This is bad for residents and bad for our environment.
“These changes have been slipped through after the Conservatives cancelled the last Council meeting before the election, because there was apparently nothing of importance left to discuss! Local residents have been cheated of their last chance to come along and let the Conservatives know what they think about how they are running the Council.”