Leeds City Council’s failed bid for food waste cash sparks a row

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Council chiefs in Leeds have been accused of “naivety” following the city’s failure to win a £13.9m government grant to expand weekly food waste collections.

The council recently learned its bid for a share of the government’s £250m Weekly Collections Support Scheme had been turned down.

It hoped to use the money to fund weekly food waste collections alongside fortnightly green and black bin collections.

Leeds was one of 33 unsuccessful councils out the 118 that applied to the scheme.

Coun Stewart Golton, the council’s Liberal Democrat group leader, said: “The council was naive to think that a fund to pay for weekly black bin collections could be used to help pay for them to go fortnightly.

“It it had paid for more attention to what the government was looking for we could have had a very good chance of getting a share of the cash.”

He said Birmingham, which bid for twice as much as Leeds, got its grant in full.

Coun Mark Dobson, executive member for the environment, said: “I don’t think we have been naive. Our bid was ambitious and made with one eye on the future.

“Authorities that got money are committed to weekly black bin collections but I don’t see that as the way forward for Leeds. We have to be forward thinking in terms of our broader environmental aspirations.”

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