01/06/07 – June 2007 Councillor Report
Councillor Glenn Smith Re-Elected!
Firstly a huge thank you to everyone who took the time to come out and voted for me on 3rd May. With a considerably increased majority it gives me an even stronger mandate to keep working hard for the residents of Coleview, Covingham and Nythe on local issues and matters that affect the entire Borough.
Committees and Appointments
Continuing this year, Cllr Phil Young is the Cabinet Lead Member for Regeneration. Cllr Dale Heenan has been made the chair of planning and I am continuing with the chair of the Environment and Leisure Overview Committee and am also now the deputy chair of the Scrutiny Committee. These are all pivotal roles in the Borough and I think it shows how your local ward Councillors are not prepared to sit back and watch it all happen.
Recycling and Wheelie Bins
Following on from considerable national press activity on this recently, we all felt it was important to outline what we are and more importantly are not doing in Swindon.
In most of the press reports that I have seen, they report on Councils who have introduced a waste and recycling policy that follows a one-size-fits-all approach. Clearly this will introduce problems and has done in those towns. By introducing these services a couple of years behind these other Councils, we have the benefit of learning from their mistakes.
The changes that will happen over the next 12 months are being introduced to reduce the amount of rubbish that we put in to the ground and increase the amount we recycle. We are doing this for several reasons. Firstly, for the environment it is the right things to do, hence why the Conservative Administration made it one of our 50 Promises. Also, the Central Government have set very aggressive targets that if we do not meet will cost the Council financially greatly in fines. This means that doing nothing is not a choice whether we wanted to or not.
From July every house in the Borough will start to receive a weekly full kerb-side recycling service. In reality this will mean you will be able to recycle weekly, card, paper, tins, cans, glass, textiles. In addition you will keep your existing fortnightly free green waste collection and gain again fortnightly a plastic bottle collection. As you are likely to fill your existing recycling boxes, every house will be issued with another box free of charge.
You will not need to sort your recyclables you put in your box as our staff will do this at the kerb side. We chose this method as it means we get less contamination, therefore can achieve more money from the recyclables we collect. Some paper mills are now saying they will only purchase paper from kerb-side recycling as you only need one broken glass bottle in with it and it means tons of paper ends up going to land fill.
Swindon Borough Council is introducing wheelie bins from Sept through to Feb and yes it will be a bi-weekly collection. Unfortunately we have had to make this choice to effectively force those people who do not recycle to do so, by limiting the amount of waste they can throw away.
We will be one of the few Councils in the country that will be offering weekly recycling. Even fewer offer fortnightly free green waste and plastic collections. Most are alternating recyclables one week, and then waste the next.
As stated, by learning from other Councils mistakes, and from trailing this service with 10,000 houses in West Swindon for over two years we are introducing some common sense rules to apply to the roll out of the new scheme.
We are doing the following,