Labour councillors have formally challenged last week’s decision to move to fortnightly refuse collections in Adur and Worthing.
Twelve opposition councillors have claimed that the ‘hasty decision broke the councils’ own rules for decision making’.
They have asked for a fuller consideration of the advantages and disadvantages of the proposal before any decision is made.
The change to an alternate weekly system was agreed by the leadership of both Adur and Worthing councils at a joint strategic committee meeting in Shoreham on Tuesday night (November 6).
They felt the move will help increase the area’s recycling rate by forcing residents to think more carefully about what they are putting in their residual bins.
Current rates of recycling are 35 per cent in Adur and 37 per cent in Worthing – both far off the 50 per cent national target set by Government for areas to reach by 2020.
Les Alden, Leader of the Labour opposition on Adur Council, said: “This is an important decision which affects all residents.
“There needs to be a comparison with a wide range of other councils as to whether this reduced service improves recycling rates as is claimed.
“Residents are rightly concerned that the proposal will increase seagull nuisance and dumping and this needs to be examined.”
He said the ‘hurried nature’ of the decision has caused ‘alarm’ with local residents, who he said questioned whether the decision will increase recycling rates, create a public health issue and lead to flytipping and staff redundancies.
“There has also been no consideration of additional recycling opportunities used by other councils, such as food waste,” Mr Alden said.
“Residents, our workforce and back-bench councillors all deserve to be consulted on this move.
“Consultation is about informing people and respecting their views and good ideas.
“The Conservative administration at Adur and Worthing have decided to ignore this and ride roughshod.
“This is why opposition councillors have asked for a full period of consultation and a review by the Councils’ Scrutiny Committee.”
At the meeting last week, councillors said no redundancies were expected as officers said any reductions in required staff numbers could be managed by not filling vacancies, reducing agency spend and if required redeployments.
It was decided that flexibility would be retained so weekly collections can continue for houses of multiple occupancy (flats) and town centre properties with limited space for storage.
Properties with five or more permanent residents or households with medical needs can apply for a larger 240 litre capacity bin, with a £20 delivery charge to cover the cost of purchase.
Before Tuesday night’s vote the Herald called for proper consultation with residents before any changes were agreed, as we questioned whether education programmes to increase recycling had been good - or extensive- enough.
Reacting to the decision last week, Herald readers branded the move to fornightly refuse collections ‘ridiculous’.