Clegg ‘concerned’ at council bins decision

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Nick Clegg has waded into the row over bin collections - asking Communities Secretary Eric Pickles to spell out what help Sheffield could have to retain weekly collections.

The Sheffield Hallam MP and Deputy Prime Minister has written to his coalition colleague on behalf of ‘a large number of constituents who are concerned’ about the change.

In his letter Mr Clegg said: “Whilst the precise configuration of services is a local matter, I am concerned that the city council has rashly chosen to take this decision despite the fact that the Coalition Government has pledged to announce a new additional fund to help support weekly collections.

“In this context, I would be grateful if you advise what central guidance and support would be available to Sheffield Council and when they might be able to bid for funds from the new weekly collections scheme?”

Sheffield Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for finance, Coun Bryan Lodge, said the council announced proposals to reduce bin collections to save money after the Government failed to provide information about subsidising the service.

He said: “We made repeated requests and they would not tell us details of what help they would provide. We needed to press on with planning our budget for next year.”

■ Sheffield University students attended a full meeting of Sheffield Council yesterday to voice their concerns about fortnightly bin collections.

Welfare Officer Matt Denton said: “We want to know what provision will be made for large student house and what the enhanced recycling will be. There are also issues about the end of term.”