Camden’s Culture & Environment Committee sadly voted last night to approve ending weekly bin collections across ‘up to half of the borough’. This is a huge blow for Hampstead residents, as it appears that our area will be the first to be cut.

I am a member of the Culture & Environment Committee. I voted to keep weekly bin collections last night, as did the other Conservative member. Sadly, every Labour councillor voted not to stop the cut or review it more fully, and since they have a majority, it will now go ahead unimpeded.

The meeting came about because Conservative councillors initiated a ‘call-in’ – the formal process by which a decision made by Camden’s Cabinet is scrutinised by backbenchers and opposition councillors.

At the meeting, I questioned the rationale given by Labour that cutting collections would increase recycling. As I noted, since 2010, when Labour took control of waste collection, Camden’s recycling rate has fallen from 32% to 26% – while it’s risen nationally. Camden should address that before cutting services.

I also asked for clarity about which areas, streets, and properties would lose their weekly collections, as that has been completely opaque. Will whole wards? Or whole streets? Or just individual properties? What are the criteria? Who will assess them?

Sadly, this wasn’t answered. We suspect, because it’s been hinted at, that Hampstead will see our services cut. This is unacceptable, and seemingly purely political. I will fight tooth and nail to prevent that and will push for weekly collections to be retained across Camden.

For more about my campaign to restore weekly bin collections, click here.