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Bins cash details expected amid Tory rebellion

More Tory councils have announced plans to snub government cash for weekly residual waste collections as ministers prepare to unveil details of the much-hyped £250m fund this week.

Carlisle City Council and Tandridge District Council confirmed to MRW they would not ditch their alternative weekly bin collections despite the Weekly Collections Support Scheme.

The duo joined a growing list of Conservative-run councils shunning the fund, while an increasing number of Labour authorities have also confirmed they will stick with alternate weekly collections.

MRW understands communities secretary Eric Pickles will outline the funding criteria for his flagship scheme this week.

Ministers and officials have indicated the scheme will be for funding “black bag” collections despite a broad coalition of waste chiefs, councils and green lobbyists urging ministers to include weekly food waste collections.  

Local Government Association head of environment and housing board David Parsons told MRW the offer of cash to improve services was welcome but he added the fund should be open to councils wishing to support weekly food collections.  

“If councils want weekly collections, and it’s a local decision, it’s welcome,” he said, “But we need to put the issue of organic weekly waste collections to ministers as well.”

Department for Communities and Local Government director-general of localism David Prout told MPs before Christmas the fund would be reserved for councils meeting key criteria, including retained or reinstated weekly residual waste collections.

He said: “It’s about three things: reinstating or retaining a weekly black bag collection - so you as a household get your rubbish collected every week; improving environmental performance; improving value for money,”  he told the communities and local government committee.

Other councils which have indicated they will not bid for cash

Sheffield and Blackpool city councils are amongst those Labour-run authorities to announce they will not take up the funding offer.
The cities followed Tory-run South Hams, Mid Devon and East Devon district councils and Torbay Council in indicating they would not be considering the fund.   
Lancashire district councils Wyre Council and Fylde borough councils will also shun the fund, according to local media reports.

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