In the first week of the new waste and recycling regime, Councillors received over 600 complaints of missed collections from angry residents. So bad is the situation that many residents are paying private contractors to dispose of rubbish that should have been collected by this inept LibDem / Labour controlled Council.

This was after the resignation last month of the long-serving senior politician in charge of Waste and Recycling (Lib-Dem Cllr Dominic Graham, Mile End Ward), who wisely distanced himself from the impending disaster by quitting his portfolio. The implementation of the new regime this week has been left to a new Cabinet Member who clearly has no experience in waste and recycling, does not yet grasp the detail, and has taken no effective action to prevent a public relations disaster of epic proportion for the Council.

This ill-conceived and unwanted re-organisation of the waste and recycling regime has been introduced unilaterally by the Lib-Dem / Labour / Highwoods coalition that runs the Council. All along, the Conservatives have said that, with the abysmally poor planning and preparation by the Controlling Group and a shoe-string budget, the change-over was a disaster waiting to happen, and so it was.

In parts of the Borough, piles of rubbish were left clogging up pavements and alleyways for more than four days after the Council failed to collect it. Dozens of black bags have been left stacked after being left out on the usual collection day last Thursday, one of the hottest days of the year. One resident said "There are flies in there and it has been baking in the heat.

Cllr Sue Lissimore, Conservative Spokesperson on Waste a & Recycling, said "Residents pay their Council tax to have their waste collected by the Council. So poor is the service being provided by the Council that many residents are now paying private contractors to remove the rubbish that they have already paid the Council to collect. Colchester's leading private sector waste disposal company, Colchester Skip Hire, has stepped-in and is cleaning up the Council's mess. But residents should not have to pay twice for the service. "

A Conservative Council would pledge that there will be no major changes to the waste collection service without a borough-wide referendum

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