I am writing in response to a letter from Coun Stuart Golton (YEP, November 21) regarding fortnightly bin collections and food waste in the city.
Firstly, let’s be clear – to be accused of a lack of ambition by a Liberal Democrat whose administration, when running Leeds for six years, achieved no significant improvements to the service whatsoever is frankly laughable.
I think we should let the facts speak for themselves. In the two years since we took control, we have smashed the previous administration’s pedestrian recycling target of 40 per cent, peaking at 48 per cent this summer, that has in turn given this administration the confidence to up our recycling target to 55 per cent by 2016.
Such is our ambition on recycling, and to meet the public desire to recycle more, we are proposing to deliver, for around 80 per cent of the city, the opportunity of a fortnightly green bin collection service by 2014. This was something never considered by Coun Golton’s Liberal Democrats when they were jointly running the city and held the environment portfolio.
It is frankly beyond belief, to suggest that this administration is not committed to a further expansion of food waste. Coun Golton knows only too well, indeed he supported it at the council’s Executive Board, that we seek funds from his own Government to enable us to roll out food waste collections across 80 per cent of the city.
Unfortunately, we have recently been told by his Government that our bid has not been successful, which undoubtedly undermines the tremendous efforts we have and are planning to make to revolutionise recycling in our city.
In his letter Coun Golton mentioned ‘fairness’ a number of times. What is not fair is that our city has once again been heavily penalised by his Government for reasons that have yet to be explained.
If Coun Golton is being fair, I would hope he will publicly join us in condemning this move rather than washing his hands and adopting the obligatory ‘nothing to do with us Guv’ fall back Liberal Democrat position, and also begin to lobby his Government ministers to change this decision.
After all, Coun Golton, fair’s fair.
Councillor Mark Dobson, Executive Board Member for the Environment