Lib Dems’ failings on waste issues show ‘staggering ineptitude’

Failures with waste services across Bath and North East Somerset show the Liberal Democrats are ‘staggeringly inept’, opposition councillors say.

The Conservative Group on B&NES Council is urging the ruling Lib Dems to get their act together and address the problems currently blighting waste services.

It comes after recent revelations that over the past 12 months the administration has not had a single successful prosecution for fly-tipping, despite recording more than 3,000 separate incidents.

Other local authorities across the country have had recent successes with prosecuting fly-tippers. In April this year, East Herts Council prosecuted four people for fly-tipping, Hull City Council prosecuted nine and Durham County Council prosecuted two.

The Conservative Group insists that it is not good enough that B&NES has not managed to get a single prosecution in the past 12 months, and is concerned that not enough is being done to tackle fly-tipping.

It also follows weeks of severe delays to the kerbside collection service. On Wednesday (30 June), the Council failed to collect waste from more than 180 individual locations and from more than 150 on Thursday (1 July).

Although the administration has blamed the delays on a nationwide shortage of drivers, other authorities in the South West are coping just fine. This, the Conservative Group says, points towards mismanagement of the service by the Liberal Democrats as being the main cause of the delays.

It was also revealed last month that the amount of waste – from kerbside collections, HWRC deposits and trade waste – the Council sends for incineration has increased by 28% since 2018/19. Incineration is a controversial method of disposing of waste due to its negative effects on the environment.

Cllr Vic Pritchard, Leader of the Conservative Group on Bath and North East Somerset Council, said: “This catalogue of failure when it comes to issues around waste and the environment is simply not good enough. It shows a staggering degree of ineptitude on behalf of the Lib Dem administration, and I am hereby serving them with a notice that they must make improvements as quickly as possible.

“These services are extremely important to residents and the Council needs to recognise that it has a vital role to play in discouraging behaviours that damage the environment.

“From today, the Conservative Group wants to see the administration make more of an effort to prosecute fly-tippers, incinerate less waste and ensure the kerbside collection service is able to return to full capacity as soon as possible.”