Of course, Labour and the Greens didn't come out and announce this to the public via a press release. they let it leak out via a Neighbourhood Action Group. As a ward councillor affected by this decision, I've not been told about it. Shear cowardice.
These collections are essential in student areas like Katesgrove, Park and Redlands to prevent the build up of rubbish which are a natural result of students packing up to go home. It's not the students' fault but is something that really winds up residents if it is left around for weeks on end as used to happen and let's be clear, the Greens have let it happen.
Why can I blame Rob White for this cut? Simple, it was not in my budget savings. A coalition administration would not have cut this service. Labour have and Rob White let Labour form the administration. He is just as much to blame as Paul Gittings. In fact even more so because his negotiations with Labour demanded the reversal of the charges for green waste collection. Cause and effect.
In the Greens' world of pestering Mummy at the supermarket checkout for sweets she can't afford, their "victory" has come home to roost and will directly impact the residents of Park ward. Nice one Rob. Labour's Caversham and Norcot based councillors have also been remarkably quiet about this first unnecessary cutting of services to their constituents. Fingers on the pulse as ever in their homes miles away from their wards they claim to represent.
The delay to the implementation of the green waste charges has already lost the council £80,000. This is not theoretical, it is real money that pays for staff salaries and has to be found from somewhere else.
We also see the first example of how Labour react to budget pressures, as I predicted, by slashing services. They are incapable of keeping to a budget and you will see throughout the year even more services cut to pay for their financial ineptitude and short-termism - the majority of which will be unnecessary and caused by their own incompetence.
I made some pretty tough decisions to protect the long term future of council services but which would not only guarantee their long term future but would also have enhanced the services offered by the council. I had constructed a 5 year business plan that protected waste services and allowed for the introduction of kerbside glass, mixed plastic and eventually food waste collection as a sustainable services by reconfiguring the service to make the environmentally dubious green waste collection pay more for itself and to create alternative income generation streams by commercialising the trade waste collections which are currently overpriced and underused. The irony that the Greens will be ultimately responsible for the council's failure to introduce these new recycling streams would be laughable if it wasn't also so bad for Reading residents.
The Green's don't like responsibility. They are incapable of making any decision so it is hard to work out whether the Greens behaviour has been a case of lambs to the slaughter or Labour's obedient sheep but which ever it is, in this case the losers are the residents of Katesgrove, Park and Redlands.
In the Green's little world they believe that an absence of decision making absolves them of culpability. Wrong. Threatening to squweam and squweam and squweam until they're thick will not abdicate them of that responsibility. Every cut, every stopped service and every closure is just as much their fault as it is Labour's and I will hold them to account for each and every one of them.
Update: The Lady doth protest too much. I've said this before but how can you tell when Jan Gavin is lying? Her lips move or she blogs something.
This pretty much sums her up:
The Lib Dem Councillors in Redlands have accused Labour of scrapping the end of term extra rubbish collections in students areas in a blatant twisting of the truth. Their lies are breath-taking. They accuse us of taking decisions behind closed doors .. they must have very short memories, it was their decision to cut Streetcare Services not ours!There is no twisting of the truth by the Lib Dems. Scrapping the end of term collections was never an option put to me. I would have fought to keep them. I've seen no decision book entry to confirm it so "behind closed doors" describes the decision exactly. I don't need to have a short memory to forget this as I have my budget options papers where there is no mention of this Labour cut.
This is simply the first in a long line of Labour cuts that are caused by their unaffordable election commitments. There is only one liar here so no wonder she is wriggling like a worm on a hook after being caught in public letting down her Redlands constituents from her home in Norcot.
Let's be clear here. This is a cut by Labour for which they and the Greens are wholly responsible. It would not have happened with the Lib Dems in a coalition administration. It will hit her constituents who must be kicking themselves for falling for her lies and she is responsible for it as much as any other Labour or Green councillor.
I always knew their election lies would unravel eventually and we will see more and more in the near future. I'm just surprised it's only taken a matter of weeks for her to get caught out.