I am appalled at the machinations of the Labour Party in Liverpool. Last Friday at 24 hours notice they made a massive change to consultation plans concerning the introduction of a fortnightly bin collection service in Liverpool.
They rightly rejected a half baked proposal which would have cost £440,000 and put in one instead that will cost £250,0000 less but which will not talk to people before the changes are made and will not get to the elderly and people who will be most affected by the change.
So consultation in Liverpool from Labour means – “We will decide what we are going to do and we will then consult some of you on the details our our decisions”.
Am I surprised? Not really. Every Labour council I have ever met believes in that sot of consultation. It comes from the arrogance of power. I had hoped for better as we had established an all party working group which had set out a number of good ideas for the consultation. But now those will be ignored and a Labour member of that group has not only agreed that the report should be dealt with at 24 hours notice but that the decision cannot be called in for scrutiny.
It was ever thus and as ever we will let the people of Liverpool know of this decision.
Liberal Democrats in Liverpool have reacted angrily to the news that people in Liverpool will not be asked their opinion on the change to fortnightly bin collections in advance of their implementation in September or October.
Cllr Richard Kemp the Liberal Democrat Leader said, “an all-party group of councillors has been meeting regularly to ensure that there is full consultation and a smooth roll out of the change from weekly to fortnightly bin collections. Now the cabinet has turned down a bonkers suggestion for a consultation plan costing £440,000 which no-one would have supported in favour of a proposal that will discriminate against the elderly and those who are not computer savvy.
Liberal Democrats are quite clear that the proposals should have been put to people well in advance of implementation so that problems could be dealt with n advance and a new contract entered into smoothly. Now no information will be given in an accessible form to most of the people who will be affected by the proposals.
We know that everyone could have been informed by proper information being put through their door for less than £16,000. This is not too much money to spend when dealing with a change which is highly controversial.
We also have grave doubts about the ability of the council’s contractors to introduce changes when they are already subject to a work to rule by staff and a strike every Friday.
Cllr Kemp can be contacted on 07885 626913