New bin collection schedule

Alex Rileyfrom Cllr Alex Riley

As I’m sure most of you are aware, our kerbside collection day is being changed from early on Wednesday mornings to early on Thursday mornings.

We have been told to have the bin(s) out by 6am or we risk missing the collection.

This week the collection will be for blue and green bins, just as it would have been under the old system.

Because the crews will initially be unfamiliar with local geography it is possible that some bins get missed.  If this happens, please let me know as soon as possible.  I have been told that they expect to do a clean-up round next day to pick up any they have missed.

Some of you have asked me why someone has messed about with a system that was working pretty well already.  The answer is lengthier than you might have expected.

The quick answer is that last year South Cambs merged its kerbside collection service with Cambridge City, and the new collection rounds have resulted.  I gather that there is a saving of some £100,000 annually in fuel alone.  But the underlying cause is that the Government has for some years been squeezing the Revenue Support Grant, which is the subsidy it pays local councils.  In South Cambs’ case this has resulted in cost savings as follows:

2015/16: £850,000
2016/17: £450,000
2017/18: £700,000
2018/19: £230,000, at which point it becomes zero.

Over the past six years the total savings within South Cambs amounts to some £6 million.

Now I am very happy to see Local Government forced to become leaner and more efficient, but as this squeeze continues, it is harder and harder for it to continue to function.  The Government, of course, keeps very quiet about this progressive reduction in its support grant.  Perhaps that also helps explain why occasionally local services are not quite as good as they used to be.

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