Colchester Conservatives oppose cuts to Saturday Drop-Off service for household waste across much of the City.

Despite a huge public backlash and a last-minute plea to the City Council, the controlling Labour & Liberal Democrat Coalition decided to axe the Saturday Drop-Off service for household waste across much of the City.

The scheme allows residents to bring small loads of household items to the council’s waste crews for disposal on specific Saturdays during spring and summer. But this service was to be axed. Colchester Council had estimated it would save more than £25,000 per year.

The move to scrap this useful public service was criticised by the City Council’s Conservative shadow waste spokesperson, Cllr Sue Lissimore. At this week’s Scrutiny Panel, she argued that axing the service would increase flytipping in Colchester.

The proposed decision was made without considering public consultation, which was contrary to the rules of the Council.

Cllr Lissimore told the Council’s Scrutiny Panel: “The impact of the cuts is real, but much of the financial savings are unlikely to be achieved. The consequences of increased fly tipping could very easily eat away at most of the savings. The Council will need a larger Neighbourhood Services Team to clear up the mess left by flytipping, and more enforcement officers to identify the culprits.

In fact there is a good case to increase the scope of the Saturday Drop Off service.  Demand for the service will definitely grow amongst vulnerable residents who do not own a car, and who cannot afford to pay for the equally ill-judged decision by the Council to charge for garden waste collection.

However, following Cllr Lissimore’s intervention, the Controlling Labour & Lib-Dem Cabinet decided to retain the Saturday Drop-Off services service in certain parts of the City, including Greenstead, Berechurch, Old Heath and the Hythe and much of the urban area, but confirmed it was axing the service in most of the rural areas.

Conservatives pledge to protect essential public services across all of Colchester