The Labour group leader at Lichfield District Council has urged a Conservative cabinet member to provide reassurances to taxpayers over a “blue bag fiasco”.
It comes after Lichfield District Council admitted that the new recycling bags being issued to households were a third smaller than they should have been.
A spokesperson for the local authority also revealed that they had not been made to the specifications expected.
But Cllr Steve Norman, leader of the Labour opposition group, has now written to the cabinet member for climate change and recycling, Cllr Ashley Yeates, to ask for reassurances over the situation.
“I see from Lichfield Live – rather than in an email to all members – that the blue bags are not what was ordered for the paper and card recycling.
“These will not be adequate for use in Lichfield district and I would like reassurance that the 80 litre bags that were specified will eventually be supplied to residents, albeit after a delay.
“I would also like to be reassured that they are weighted as ordered.”Cllr Steve Norman, Lichfield District Council
The bags were meant to have an 80 litre capacity, but are actually less than even the 72 litre capacity bags used in areas like Stafford.
Cllr Norman added:
“There are a clearly a number of questions that need answering – were the wrong ones ordered or were the wrong ones sent and why were they not checked before distribution? Will residents be asked to have two, three or four ‘small’ bags now if the mistake is the council’s and they can’t get their money back?
“I am not against British understatement but with the cabinet member saying he is ‘disappointed’ about this and his council leader recently describing the MP’s comments on accusations of partying and drinking nurses and teachers as ‘unhelpful’, complacency – or arrogance – seems to have levelled down to the local Conservatives.”Cllr Steve Norman, Lichfield District Council
Cllr Yeates has told residents they will be able to order additional bags if they are needed – but not until the end of next month.
“We are disappointed that the blue bags we have received from our supplier do not meet our expectations and we are investigating this issue.
“Additional bags can be ordered and any superfluous bins removed by contacting us at the end of May through our website or by calling 0345 002 0022.”Cllr Ashley Yeates, Lichfield District Council
The controversial move to the new bag collections has already faced challenges after a report in November 2021 revealed that the cost of buying them had leapt by £100,000 from the original £229,000 anticipated as part of the joint waste service delivered with Tamworth Borough Council.