The wages of populism is U turns. Dear old Eric Pickles just couldn't resist playing to the gallery of Daily Mail readers whipping up a campaign to restore weekly bin collections. We have had the full range of scare stories in Sefton Tory leaflets-which is a tad surprising as they voted for the scheme and successive Tory spokesmen for that policy area on the Council have backed the plan. For several elections we had a Tory opponent who had this as a high priority. Here in Sefton it would cost us about £7m to restore the collections, but as we offer weekly food waste collections so we are removing the key area of concern. I would find it hard to justify spending that amount of money at a time when we are cutting youth service spending, adult social services, library opening hrs etc.
Nevertheless the Daily Telegraph had a story proclaiming that Pickles was going to make good his campaign pledge. I don't know where the story came from or if it was a 'bloody surprise' to the Department. The Daily Mail was delighted. I guess Pickles was less so because he knew it was simply not going to happen. Today has come the reckoning and Conservative Home is predictably narked
We will have to wait until Tuesday when the Department publishes a report on waste disposal before the final rites can be read over this sad and misleading campaign. As the Mail reports today:
However on the key issue of restoring weekly bin collections it suggests that nothing will be offered. If true this would be a great disappointment. It points out that since the election the number of Councils only providing fortnightly collections has actually increase
I guess that there will be some highly disgruntled Tories who will feel badly let down and for some of the electors it will add to the cynicism.