Thursday, 4 February 2016

Bury Council blame public for rat rise

The report below is taken from
 today's Bury Times (the headline is ours),
and is the result of a Freedom of Information
request by the Bury Unite Branch:
RATS are being spotted more often because bins are being emptied less often, union bosses claim. Leaders of Bury Unite commercial branch, which represents bin men who work across the borough, made a Freedom of Information request to Bury Council asking about vermin complaints before and after three-weekly bin collections were introduced in October 14.
In the 12 months up to the change there were 1,514 complaints, compared with 1,789 in the 12 months after.
The branch's secretary Brian Bamford said:
'This represents a 18.16 per-cent rise since the change. What the public deserve is some honesty from Bury Council about the downside of what is happening when they introduce changes to like the three-weekly collections.  There must be no suggestion of a cover-up on these matters.'
Mr Bamford was referring to previous comments made by Elton councillor Susan Southworth when she said:
'There is no evidence there will be a detrimental impact on public health such as vermin, unpleasant smells and fly tipping.'
One bin man, who asked not to be named in fear of losing his job, said:
'There are definitely more rats and flies now.  I don't think they can solve the problem unless they go back to fortnightly collections.  When we are out on the rounds, we get complaints from people who say they are not getting value for money from their council tax.'
A Bury Council spokesman said there was no clear correlation between the frequency of collections and the number of vermin reports.
He added that complaints fell when fortnightly collections were introduced in 2012/13.
The spokesman said:
'There are a number of reasons why the number of incidents we deal with may have increased last year, such as having a mild winter.  Unfortunately, there are a number of cases where irresponsible people simply throw all their rubbish into the back street rather than disposing of it properly. This is in sharp contrast to the majority of residents, whose efforts have led to Bury having its highest ever recycling rate.  We thank them, and urge everyone to put the right stuff in the right bin.' ),

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