Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Press release: Greens expose kerbside recycling scandal

Press Release: photo opp:
Date: Saturday 31th March
Time & Place: 11.30am – Queens Gardens

Local Greens welcome news that 4 more wards will receive improved kerbside recycling collections BUT ask, “what about the other 16 wards?”

Local Green Party spokesman Shasha Khan said, “I welcome news that plastics, cardboard and garden waste recycling will be extended to four more wards. However, is it right that these wards are likely to be selected with political gain in mind and not the needs of the community? Moreover, what about the other 16 wards?”

From my experience of talking to residents, people demand better recycling facilities. They want to build a sustainable future for their children and to cut waste.

In Croydon, Labour and Conservative councils alike are using recycling as political tool to clinch votes and not as a solution to our sustainability problems.”

In April 2006, one month before the council elections, the then Labour council extended kerbside recycling in four wards (Addiscombe, Shirley, Waddon and Norbury) in Croydon. It was supposed to be trial. It was cynically marketed as a borough wide expansion. Additional collections for cardboard, plastics and garden waste were introduced in these wards.

Arguably, Addiscombe, Waddon and Norbury were selected because they were Conservative targets. The margin between the Consevative and Labour vote was minimal in these wards. So, the ruling party improved the services in that ward to clinch those all-important votes.

Nearly one year after the Conservative party have taken power, rather than roll out a borough wide extension, they have merely made permanent the ‘trial’. This is not surprising because they won Waddon and Addiscombe with slim majorities.

Shasha Khan continued, “After the 2006 local elections, Upper Norwood and South Norwood have become the new marginal seats. So, don’t be surprised if these two wards are selected for extended kerbside recycling. Is it right that we all pay the same council tax, only for some wards to receive more services purely on the grounds of political gain? The council has a statutory recycling target of 30% for 2007/8 (1). Unless a principled stance towards recycling is adopted, they are going to miss that target.”

Croydon Green Party will be using street theatre - using a bookmaker’s odds board - to demonstrate how easy it is to predict the wards that will be chosen because they are nearly always marginal seats.


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