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Pickles: “We intend to increase frequency of rubbish collections”

Communities secretary Eric Pickles has set out Government intentions to work with councils to “increase frequency of rubbish collections”.

In a speech to the think-tank, the New Local Government Network, Pickles said that refuse collection services are the “most visible, most frontline service of all”, and warned that cuts to weekly waste collections indicated a “threat to localism”.

He said: “We intend to work with councils to increase the frequency and quality of rubbish collections - starting with removing the perverse incentives that have pushed councils to cut services. We want to make it easier to go green - championing innovative schemes like Recyclebank which reward recycling.”

Pickles outlined progress made by the coalition in removing alleged obstacles to weekly waste collections, such as the Audit Commission and the repeal of Labour’s pay-as-you-throw charging scheme in the Localism Bill.

He added that a route map designed to remedy central policies which led to “perverse local outcomes” will be set out in the Government’s review of waste policy, which is due out later this year.

But Pickles added: “If councils can deliver a service that the public likes and has confidence in, that’s a matter for them.”

Labour MP for Southampton Test Dr Alan Whitehead told MRW: “There always have been cases of excesses of regulation, but I don’t recognise the picture he paints of how local authorities have gone about collecting their waste.”

He added: “Part of the localism agenda, I think, would be ownership of reaching those targets and developing much greener, high recycling local economies area by area. But instead, Eric Pickles is actually trying put local authorities into a particular paradigm of collection and taking away all their resources to manage the collection of waste at the same time.”  

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