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Overdue announcement for Pickles' weekly collection fund

Allocation of cash to councils under the £250m Weekly Collections Support Scheme fund has been delayed.

The announcement of which bidders had been successful in getting a share of the fund was originally scheduled for October, according to the Supporting Weekly Collections Prospectus.

However, in a reply to a query about the date from Jennie Rogers of the askjennie.com website, officials replied: “Thank you for your email. The Supporting Weekly Collections Prospectus suggested an October announcement and we have been working to that timetable. There will be a little slippage into November but the announcement on successful bids will be made in the coming weeks. We cannot offer a precise date at this stage”.

The fund - a pet project of communities secretary Eric Pickles - was designed to facilitate a switch by local authorities from alternate weekly collection (AWC) to weekly collections.

An investigation by MRW in September found that only one out of the 216 AWC authorities (Stoke-on-Trent) had bid to revert to weekly. There were five councils looking to revert to a weekly collection for a challenging areas as blocks of flats, having previously run AWC.

Several other councils bid for funding for additional recycling schemes, such as food waste provision; the weekly collection of nappies and other absorbent hygiene products; and battery and electrical waste collection.

In a recent parliamentary question (24 October), Brandon Lewis, under-secretary of state at the Department for Communities and Local Government, said of the scheme: “The Department for Communities and Local Government is currently assessing the final bids we received requesting funding from the Weekly Collection Support scheme and Ministers will make a statement in due course.”

Lewis also claimed: “The Weekly Collections Support scheme fund is over-subscribed and all £250m will be fully allocated so millions of families will receive a weekly residual waste collection and recycling.”

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