Mayor U-Turn on Waste Management Depot After Labour Campaign

Tower Hamlets Labour Group has been fighting to ensure proper, local provision of waste management services as part of their campaign to Clean Up Tower Hamlets.

Following pressure from the Labour Group, the Mayor has agreed to utilise Blackwall Depot for waste after the closure of the Watts Grove Depot. The Mayor withdrew the first Cabinet paper after Labour criticism that it did not include a local depot.

Labour councillors held officers to account at a meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee. At the meeting on 3rd March, Labour members quizzed officers over the disparity between official council figures on waste and street cleanliness and what residents actually say is going on in their streets.

The Committee agreed to request that the Chief Executive of Veolia attends a future meeting to be held to account for the management of the borough’s waste management contract.

The Labour Group has also learned that the council’s dog waste machine is no longer in use within the borough.

Cllr Rachael Saunders, Leader of Tower Hamlets Labour Group, said:

“It is clear that the council’s efforts on street cleanliness have been downgraded – from the scrapping of the council’s dog waste machine through to the official figures which don’t reflect what residents actually experience and tell us what goes on in their neighbourhoods.

Residents repeatedly talk to us about rubbish on their streets and the lack of response from Mayor Lutfur Rahman – the Labour Group will keep fighting for proper and effective local provision of waste services.”

Cllr John Pierce, of Tower Hamlets Labour Group, said:

“The Labour Group recognises that the plans for Blackwall Depot are only a temporary solution but we will keep campaigning for proper local provision of waste services and we are glad our pressure has forced the Mayor to keep a local depot.

The Labour Group, through campaigning and council structures, will continue to fight to ensure that the future waste management contract is fairer to residents – and we will continue to push to ensure that all options are considered, including the possibility of bringing some parts of the contract in-house.”

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