Cheltenham Borough Council will "learn lessons" from cancellation of rubbish collections
THERE are "lessons to be learnt" from the rubbish collection cancellations of the past two weeks, the borough council has agreed.
Residents have been left angry in the wake of the suspension of the service on Friday, January 18, with litter piling up in the streets and wheelie bins overflowing because of the snow.
As a result, a review of the events of the past fortnight is going to be undertaken by the authority while another emergency scrutiny report has been asked for by opposition councillors wanting to examine what went wrong.
Councillor Roger Whyborn (LD, Up Hatherley), cabinet member for sustainability, said he had already asked officers to conduct a review.
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He said: "We will conduct a review – what went well, what went badly and what we could do better in the future.
"This is the first snow emergency we have had since April 2011 so it would be entirely right and proper to look at the lessons learned.
"The scrutiny is entitled to do this too but I have already asked officers to look at this and that is routine.
"I want to do it right, rather than fast and sensationalised."
Ubico, the waste contractor which collects rubbish on behalf of both Cheltenham Borough Council and Cotswold District Council, made the decision to suspend collections on health and safety grounds because of icy roads and pavements.
Councillor Andrew Chard, who sits on the borough council's Ubico scrutiny task committee, has called for an emergency meeting to discuss the issue in detail. He wants to compile a special report examining what happened.
Mr Chard said: "We want to know why people's rubbish wasn't being collected last week, particularly in the centre of town and towards the end of the week even in some of the outer districts of the town.
"Stroud managed to collect their rubbish so where was Cheltenham? Why was Ubico in bed?
"Because of Christmas, some people will have gone four weeks before having their rubbish collected. They should be going around this week and doing more at the very least to catch up rather than them acting as if last week didn't happen. I think it is disgraceful quite frankly and it is a health hazard."
Ubico has said that collections will resume as normal today.