Lead candidates for the Liberal Democrats in Sutton Coldfield and Erdington, Ann Holtom and Jenny Wilkinson, have strongly criticised Birmingham's Labour council over their record on recycling, garden waste disposal and the increase in fly-tipping. In a joint statement the candidates say:
"Birmingham's record on recycling is appalling .Labour has withdrawn key services and then they wonder why recycling rates are falling and why the city has failed dismally to meet its target - as the Lib Dems predicted when these changes were introduced.
"The clear message from residents is that they want their free garden and bulky waste collections back. They dislike the extra fee. It's seen as a tax on their household rubbish.
"Free bulky waste collections were axed in under cost-cutting plans and householders are charged £25 for refuse collectors to take fridges, three-piece suites and other large items to the tip. But figures obtained by the Lib Dems show that as of December 2015, only 751 collection orders were placed and 666 households used the service. Since the introduction, there has been an increase in fly tipping around the city with discarded furniture now a common sight in streets.
"It is plain common sense that free waste collections would reduce fly-tipping and increase recycling.
"Like all local authorities suffering under the Tory cuts, Birmingham faces tough times but it has failed on the local environment. Clean streets and proper disposal of rubbish are what people have a right to expect."