Third of complaints to council about £22,000 row over garden bins
ONE in three complaints made to Cheshire East Council last year were about the controversial garden waste shutdown.
A staggering 749 of all 2,231 criticisms from council-tax payers between April 2013 and March 2014 targeted the decision to suspend the collection of garden waste for the winter.
The move, which bosses claimed could save the authority £1m over the next four years, also prompted almost 1,500 residents who paid for an additional green bin to claim a £15 refund, which costs the council £22,000.
The figures were included in the annual summary of customer feedback put before the Audit and Governance Committee last Thursday.
The report revealed the council’s waste services got three times more complaints than in the previous year, rising from 339 to 1,026.
However, if complaints specifically relating to the green bin row were discounted, the total number of complaints related to waste has fallen by 62 from last year.
Other areas of grievance included the highways department which saw complaints rise from 212 in 2012/13 2013/14.
Specific gripes were for blocked gullies, potholes and lack of signage for a road diversion.
Garden waste complaints aside, overall the total number of complaints rose by five per cent to 2,231, while the number of compliments made by residents remained the same at 1,140.
A council spokesman
in said: “Residents rightly expressed their views about the extended period for non-collection of green waste, hence the significant rise in recorded complaints.
“As a listening authority we responded to those concerns by reducing the suspension period from 17 weeks to 12 weeks for this coming winter 201415 and the recompensed those who paid for an extra green bin.”