Conservatives have welcomed reinstatement of the Christmas Tree collection service across Reading’s former collection points just days after they highlighted the chaos caused by Labour’s failure of communication with residents over the scrapping of the service.
In the Council’s pre-Christmas communication issued on 11 December no mention was made of the former recycling points. Residents were advised to take their trees to Smallmead or to chop them up and dispose of the remains in the green bins.
Conservative Councillor Isobel Ballsdon said, “On 7 January I rang officers to check if the Christmas Tree collection service was running as nothing was written on RBC’s recycling card calendar and there was no announcement saying it was operating this year. I was told the service had been cancelled however since many trees had been dumped, officers were arranging to collect them for chipping. I was phoned back by a senior officer who said officially he could not advise me to tell residents to take Christmas trees to the former collection points and that if residents did, effectively they would be fly-tipping.”
Cllr Ballsdon continued, “This afternoon (Thursday) I was delighted to be told that the Labour administration has done a U-turn and posted a statement on RBC’s home page restoring the service.”
Conservative Leader Cllr Tim Harris said “Reinstatement of this service is great news. I’m disappointed though that Labour hasn’t had the decency to apologise for the confusion and come clean. If Conservatives hadn’t spotted this and raised the matter residents would have been left with a sub-standard service.”
- Link to RBC’s original statement 11 December 2012 on Christmas services (trees appearing near the end): http://www.reading.gov.uk/news/2012/dec/christmas-opening-hours-bin-collections/
- Link to RBC’s statement today 10 January 2013 in which the service is reinstated: http://www.reading.gov.uk/news/2013/jan/christmas-clear/