Any post-mortem on how Lichfield and Burntwood residents ended up with recycling bags smaller than they should be must not be held behind closed doors, a councillor has said.
Lichfield District Council has moved to a new dual stream recycling system which will see residents separate out paper and card from their existing blue bins.
The local authority has now admitted that the new blue bags ordered as part of the scheme are a third smaller than anticipated.
Cllr Steve Norman, leader of the Labour opposition group has confirmed that a task group is expected to reconvene to try to get to the bottom of how the wrong size bags came to be delivered and distributed to residents.
But he told Lichfield Live any such session should not be held away from the eyes of the public.
“Cllr Tim Matthews, chair of the task group that looked at the communications plan for residents for the new system, has suggested we reconvene because of the issues.
“I have agreed, but emphasised the need for it be in public so we might not be able to ask some questions that could affect any legal claims over the order which, we have been told, was wrong from the supplier.
“We could go into private for those questions but I am sure that it would only add to the suspicions of residents.”Cllr Steve Norman, Lichfield District Council
The local authority was the lead in a multi-council procurement deal for the new bags, leading to some concerns that scrutinising what went wrong could be delayed due to other councils involved in the mix-up taking part in local elections next month.
But Cllr Norman said local households deserved an explanation sooner rather than later.
“It’s awkward with Tamworth and Cannock Chase having elections next month, but I am a Lichfield District Council member and am only interested in how this fiasco affects our residents.”Cllr Steve Norman, Lichfield District Council
While the formal post-mortem into the blue bag deal is still to take place, some councillors have already called for action to be taken
Cllr Derick Cross, Conservative member for Alrewas and Fradley ward, said those responsible for the deal should “resign or be sacked”, while Cllr Joanne Grange, independent member for Chadsmead, has urged the cabinet member responsible for recycling to step aside.
Cllr Doug Pullen, leader of Lichfield District Council, said discussions were taking place with the supplier.
“Our specification document – which I have seen – states that the bags should be 81 litres with dimensions of 45cm by 45cm by 40cm with a 450g weighted base.
“The bags delivered have anywhere between 60 and 75 litre capacity.
“We are currently in discussions with the supplier. They are disputing that the bags delivered are the wrong size so this might take some time.”Cllr Doug Pullen, Lichfield District Council