Green Waste – Council Must Take a Step Back Until Labour MP’s Questions are Answered


The Overview and Scrutiny report into Birmingham City Council’s Green Waste policies and charges published today is a serious piece of work that demands serious attention by Council leaders.

Today’s findings underline that there are real issues with the Council’s green waste charge and that its introduction earlier this year was badly mismanaged. As a result public confidence in the system evaporated. That’s why I am calling on the Council to change course, and suspend the charge to allow time for the Scrutiny Committee’s findings and recommendations to be properly considered.

The good news is that everyone now seems to accept that big changes have to be made. But I just don’t think it is feasible for the Council to plough on regardless in the meantime. Working through and introducing the changes that are required will take time.

That’s why Birmingham’s Labour MPs are asking the Chief Executive what can be realistically done in 2015 and how quickly the improvements we need to see can realistically be made. Our letter to Mark Rogers also enclosed the evidence which I submitted to the Overview and Scrutiny Inquiry, and findings from surveys of residents by Labour MP’s about the introduction and impact of the charge.

Unless we have clear assurances that the situation will be fundamentally different in the coming year, my message to the Council remains the same as I have been saying for months. Take a step back. Suspend the charge so the public can have confidence that you will get it right in future years and keep our streets clean.


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Richard Burden

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I was Labour Member of Parliament for Birmingham Northfield between 1992 and 2019 and a former Shadow Transport Minister. I now chair Healthwatch in Birmingham and Solihull, and the West Midlands Board of Remembering Srebrenica. I also work as a public affairs consultant. I am an effective community advocate and stakeholder alliance builder with a passion for human rights. I am a trustee of the Balfour Project charity and of Citizens Advice Birmingham, and a former Chair of Medical Aid for Palestinians.

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