Friday 11 January 2013

Labour U-turn on Christmas Tree Collections!

GetReading's front page written before news of U-turn
In my original post on Tuesday I wrote how Reading Borough Council had cut the Christmas tree collection service.  I'm delighted that the service has been restated across Reading's former collection points just days after Conservatives highlighted the chaos caused by Labour's failure of communication with residents over the scrapping of the service. 

In the Council's pre-Christmas communication issued on 11 December no mention was made of the former recycling points, with residents being advised to take their trees to Smallmead or to chop them up and dispose of the remains in the green bins.

On 7 January I rang officers to check if the Christmas tree collection service was running as nothing was written on RBC's recycling card calendar and there was no announcement saying it was operating this year.  I was told the service had been cancelled however since many trees had been dumped, officers were arranging to collect them for chipping.  I was phoned back by a senior officer who said officially he could not advise me to tell residents to take Christmas trees to the former collection points and that if residents did, effectively they would be fly-tipping.

Yesterday (10 January) I was pleased to be told that the Labour administration has done a U-turn and posted a statement on RBC's home page restoring the service.  Any resident yet to deal with their Christmas tree can recycle it at their local former collection site without fear of being accused of fly-tipping.  The list is: Mapledurham Pavilion's car park, Clayfield Copse's car park, Kensington Road Recreation, Meadway Recreation, Prospect Park, Whitley Wood Recreation, Palmer Park, Tilehurst (Poors) Allotments off Armour Road.

Conservative Leader Cllr Tim Harris said "Reinstatement of this service is great news.  I'm disappointed though that Labour hasn't had the decency to apologise for the confusion and come clean.  If Conservatives hadn't spotted this and raised the matter residents would have been left with a sub-standard service."