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What a stink: people power forces rethink after bin row

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Council chiefs have been forced to make a U-turn after Hucknall residents kicked up a stink over bin collections in the town.

Furious locals across the town blasted Ashfield District Council for failing to empty their overflowing bins following the public sector strike on 11th July.

The walk out meant bins due to be collected that day were left unemptied.

Despite Ashfield District Council initially announcing plans for a Saturday pick-up, this failed to happen creating outrage across the town as bins littered the streets.

Officials then declared householders would have to wait another two weeks, meaning four in total, after a weekend that saw temperatures soar across the region.

But the smell of rotting food and nappy waste was proving too much, as residents took to social media and called on the council to take action. Finally on Tuesday, the authority bowed to public pressure and agreed to switch the rota and instead of collecting for recycling, it would now collect the household waste.

“The whole thing has been a joke,” said Frances Grove resident, Ben Bradley (24). “The council knew the strike was happening so why didn’t they make extra provision to prevent this problem? It’s just not good enough.”

Mr Bradley and his partner Shanade Orsmond (28) have a young baby and two rabbits which added to their waste problems.

“With six nappies a day plus waste from the rabbit hutches, the bin was really smelly,” added Shanade. “We didn’t want it in the garden so we left it out on the street like many others but whilst out walking with the pram, I was forced to manoeuvre around them and the smell was awful.”

Mr Bradley was critical of the striking staff and the council.

“Situations like this just angers everybody and they lose public support,” added Mr Bradley. “Many of us could say our pay isn’t enough but we don’t go on strike.

“Will we be getting a rebate on our council tax for lack of service?”

Another outraged resident who didn’t want to be named added: “Shame on Ashfield District Council. Thousands of the council’s customers have to accept this appalling treatment and the council has chosen to do nothing. I am literally disgusted.”

When the council announced their change of plans on Tuesday, residents heaved a sign of relief.

“This should have been done sooner,” said Rebecca Cullin on Facebook. “It wouldn’t have took a genius to put this plan in place as soon as they knew about the strike.”

The council moved to defend their position this week saying it was a difficult situation and apologised for the disruption.

“Clearly it is a significant challenge to recover a full day’s missed collections,” said service director for environment, Edd de Coverly. “But we have listened to the concerns of our residents and worked extremely hard to reorganise our services and arrange a collection for all the black bins that were missed.

“By also picking up any additional side waste we hope that this has gone some way to resolving the most pressing issues for our residents.

“Next week, on Thursday 24th July, we will again collect additional waste from those residents who did not have their green bin or garden waste bin emptied on Thursday 10th July.

“The council is committed to delivering excellent waste collection services and wishes to apologise for the disruption caused to residents by last week’s industrial action.”

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