Labour Leader of Sheffield City Council, Councillor Julie Dore, has written to Sheffield Hallam MP and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg to make one final plea for the Government to provide the funding for Sheffield to continue a weekly black bin collection service.
Labour were surprised when Mr Clegg recently intervened in the issue, being quoted in the local media as saying that the Council is “unlikely to save a penny over the next year” from moving to alternate week collections. In addition to this he said that “there may be more available for Sheffield than Labour anticipates.”
Despite the Lib Dem leader’s intervention in the local media, the Government have to date stated that they will not reveal how much Sheffield will receive from the fund until October. However, Sheffield Council is having to move to alternate week collections to avoid greater cuts to other services this year, as Government cuts are forcing them to save £170 million over the next four years, £55 million of which has to be saved in 2012/13.
With the Council’s budget due to be set on 9th March Labour are calling on Mr Clegg to confirm that the Government will provide the funding to protect weekly collections by the end of the month.
Labour Leader of Sheffield City Council, Councillor Julie Dore, said: “Given Nick Clegg’s record on keeping promises I think you can forgive Sheffielders for being more than a bit sceptical about his pledge that the Government will provide funding to keep the weekly black bin collection.
“We do not want to cut this service, but the reality is that we are having to make this decision exactly because of the massive cuts that the Government are forcing on us. This year alone we have to cut £55 million and that is just part of the £170 million of cuts that we are facing over the next four years. By moving to fortnightly collections we can protect some of the services for the most vulnerable.
“On the face of it, it seems that there is no where near enough money available in this Government fund to commit to protecting the service for five years, but the problem is they will not tell us how much money will be available until October. You can not set budgets on ifs, buts and maybes, we need to know what the Government’s offer will be for Sheffield before we set our budget in March, we simply can not wait until October.
“We have put our cards on the table and are giving the Government one final chance to confirm that they will fund this service, otherwise we will know that this fund was nothing more than a political stunt all along and Nick Clegg has let Sheffield down yet again.”Other news from Sheffield Labour