Leeds: Bins boss admits routes shake-up will save only £300,000

A Leeds City Council boss has admitted that a shake-up of bin routes - that has left city rubbish collections in chaos - will save a fraction of the amount first envisaged.

Neil Evans, the council's environmental and neighbourhoods director, told the YEP that changes introduced on October 25 are now due to save just 300,000 for 2010/11.

Reducing the number of bin collection routes from 51 to 40 and cutting the number of bin wagons was supposed to save 1.4 million this financial year.

His admission came after the Liberal Democrats claimed the new system would in fact make no savings at all for this financial year.

They laid the bulk of the blame on the late introduction of the new scheme – which should have come in in June – but instead began four-and-a-half months later.

Mr Evans agreed but added that the "complexity" of putting together the changes had been "underestimated" and the plan had been put back.

He said that the Council hadn't anticipated making any savings in the first month.

And Mr Evans admitted that it did not look like any savings would be made in November or December.

He added: "It's difficult to extricate it (the poor service] from the bad weather, which always costs.

"What we are trying now is to get it right so that over a full year from April 2011 we can make 2m in savings."

Coun James Monaghan (Lib Dem, Headingley) said: "Reorganising the inefficient bin routes was the right thing for the council to do. But the implementation has been an utter shambles.

"They have wasted a huge amount of taxpayers' money, which is unforgivable given the huge budget pressures the council's facing."

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