Liberal Democrat candidates in Erdington and Sutton Coldfield have called on Birmingham City Council to pay back all or part of the £35 paid by residents who have joined the discredited green waste collection scheme. The call comes after reports that the council is planning secret collections of uncollected waste which has been left in the streets and on grass verges by residents in protest against the so-called 'garden tax.' The claims have been made by the union representatives for the refuse collectors who say the Labour council has told them to clear the streets of all abandoned green waste before the local elections next Thursday - whether or not residents have paid the fee.
Ann Holtom, Lib Dem candidate for Tyburn Ward, said: "We have opposed Labour's garden tax scheme from the start and believe it should be scrapped. It charges residents for a service the council should be providing. It causes dirty streets, fly-tipping and long queues at council tips. While we are pleased the council is clearing the streets of unsightly waste it is clearly not fair that people who have paid good money for a green waste bin are not getting any different service from those who haven't. In the circumstances it is only right that the council should give all or some of this money back."