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Labour Party criticises Conservatives on weekly waste collection pledges

The Labour Party has criticised the Conservative Party for pledging to reconfigure existing local government funding to support weekly collections, as opposed to a funding regime that pushes fortnightly collections.

Environment Minister Dan Norris told MRW: Decisions on local waste collections, including their frequency, are a matter for local authorities as they are best placed to understand local needs. It is not for Government to intervene and cut local waste collection services.

His comments follow an announcement by the Conservative Government that pledged a commitment to weekly collections.

Shadow Minister for Local Government Bob Neill said: Conservatives believe that decent and regular rubbish collections are a vital front-line council service to help protect the local environment and public health. We reject Labours approach of state bin bullying, cutting bin services and new bin taxes.

We will reconfigure existing local government funding to support weekly collections, as opposed to the current state guidance and funding regime which pushes fortnightly collections.

Earlier this month, Labour published a dossier of a factual account of the cost of the Conservatives promises. Labour criticised the Conservatives commitment to provide funding for the re-introduction of weekly waste collections claiming it was as yet uncosted.

The document quoted former Shadow Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric
Pickles who told the Guardian in December 2008 that: A Conservative Government would change Whitehall policy so that there is an expectation that councils should offer full weekly collections, reversing the Labour policy. Central funding will be offered for all councils to provide a weekly collection of organic waste, as well as comprehensive recycling collections.

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