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South Hams District Council have released an open letter after one councillor called the current brown bin collection "pathetic".
Cllr Julian Brazil shared his frustrations on social media, writing: "The brown bin collection started again on the 28 March. Initially there were few problems but by the second week things started to fall apart. They've had over eight months to sort this out - pathetic.
"We've had the usual excuses, 'the wrong type of leaves', 'the dog ate my homework' etc. But in the end you've been paying for a service you have not received. The council is refusing to give any sort of Council Tax rebate.
"In 2018 SHDC had the second best rubbish collection record in the whole country. Only 55 collections were reported as missed. At the end of that year, the Conservative administration voted to out-source the service. Now, during the latest period (Apr 21 - Feb 22) 29,439 missed collections have been reported! Amazingly there are still people at the council who want to stay with this arrangement.
"The brown bin collection will continue. More rounds will be missed. If your bin is missed, we've been told you will have to wait until the next scheduled collection day.
"Another episode of Carry On Council from SHDC."
In response to Cllr Brazil's statement, SHDC released an open letter from Cllr Keith Baldry, Executive Member for Environment. It said: "FCC Environment Ltd restarted our garden waste collections on Monday, 28 March, but unfortunately, since the service resumed they have experienced increased sickness within the workforce, which has impacted some of our collection rounds.
"Of course, this isn’t what we or FCC wanted and we are extremely sorry that the high numbers of FCC staff absent has resulted in some of our garden waste rounds being affected especially so soon after they resumed.
"I completely understand why our residents may be frustrated, but it is not easy to get agency staff to cover for sickness and FCC have tried to cover absences where they can.
"Unfortunately, when there are severe staff shortages, we need to prioritise our statutory services, which are the collection of black bins and recycling.
"We are working closely with FCC to ensure that they try to get back to as many missed collections as possible. However, if your brown bin is not collected on your scheduled day, we are asking you to leave it out until 5pm on the following day. If it still hasn’t been collected, then please take your bin back in and bring it back out on your next collection day.
"If your bin has been missed please tell us here: www.southhams.gov.uk/missedcollection
"We know the situation is difficult and some other councils in the area are also experiencing operational challenges at the moment. We are working with FCC on a daily basis to try and ensure we get back to our scheduled collections and the services our residents expect and deserve.”
Hi Peter, you can contact South Hams District Council in many ways (https://www.southhams.gov.uk/article/81/Contact-Us) but I don't think anyone from SHDC will see your comment here. I don't want you to think they are ignoring you! Thanks, Sam Acourt - News and Events Editor
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