The letter in The Observer last week from the cabinet member for waste and recycling on Rother District Council was a personal and virulent attack on Stephen Hardy. A reply is necessary, not only because I am married to Stephen, but what he stated about the confusion in the first week of the new waste collection contract was absolutely right.
The variety of bins left out all over Robertsbridge was evidence enough and I have never seen such a large number of questions and confusion on our local Facebook page.
I received many complaints from residents who had registered to receive a brown bin and for whatever reason, payment was not made by the deadline, so they now have to wait, we were told until September and now until November. The service, we were told in the RDC leaflet, was originally going to begin 1 April.
The confusion Stephen referred to was firstly because some residents had already filled their green bins with garden waste to be told too late that the brown bins for garden waste would be collected on 30 June. Such problems will certainly be quickly resolved. What really caused confusion was that we were suddenly told that a black bin collection would replace the first recycling collection. In principle a good idea to collect non-recyclables in the summer. However, this meant that residents in Robertsbridge have three black bin collections in two weeks and have to wait a month for the recycling collection.
I know RDC officers and Kier staff are working hard to make sure the new contract settles in well. We have certainly done so much better than when Kier started in Wealden. Good clear communication is key and I applaud the use of the email alerts.
Cllr Sue Prochak
Rother District Council