Council head challenges Clegg over cash

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SHEFFIELD Council leader Julie Dore has written to Nick Clegg to make a ‘final’ plea for the Government to provide the funding to continue the city’s weekly black bin collection service.

The letter follows Deputy Prime Minister and Hallam MP Mr Clegg saying Sheffield may receive more than the usual one per cent of funding handed out as part of national schemes from a fund set up by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles.

Sheffield Council fears that even if a share of the £250 million fund – to be handed out over the next three years – is given to Sheffield, the amount would not come close to the £2.4m extra annual cost of emptying black rubbish bins weekly instead of fortnightly.

But Mr Clegg said he did not believe every council would apply so Sheffield could be in line for a greater share.

Coun Dore said: “On the face of it, it seems that there is nowhere near enough money available in this Government fund to commit to protecting the service for five years, but the problem is they will not tell us how much money will be available until October.

“You cannot set budgets on ifs, buts and maybes. We need to know what the Government’s offer will be for Sheffield before we set our budget in March, we simply can not wait until October.

“We have put our cards on the table and are giving the Government one final chance to confirm that they will fund this service, otherwise we will know that this fund was nothing more than a political stunt all along and Nick Clegg has let Sheffield down yet again.”