Council criticised for ‘poor’ waste collection service

TAX payers who watched Exmouth turn into a sea of bin bags have hit out at East Devon District Council for not catching up on rubbish collections.

Some residents, concerned about preying seagulls and vermin, have only had their waste taken away this week – around one month since the last pick-up.

The local authority said last week it was doing all it could to clear a backlog of recycling and landfill waste after the recent period of heavy snowfall.

Lynda Langley, of Cranford Avenue, called the delay in collectors taking waste away as a ‘horrific’ situation.

She said: “When you look at councils across the country, they have managed to clear theirs.

“I’ve seen some families with young children walking around Exmouth picking up litter themselves.

“Seagulls have been attacking the bags. It causes a health hazard really.”

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Michael Kitchen, 56, of Masey Road, said: “We have been waiting a number of weeks for a black bin collection. The last one we had was before Christmas.

“It’s not acceptable. Who wants to see piles of rubbish in the streets?

Residents have also criticised EDDC for not gritting the roads adequately enough throughout the cold snap.

Mrs Langley said Elwyn Road and Cranford Avenue were in a horrendous state.

“There were quite a lot of people falling over as a result. It is absolutely shocking, therefore, that they weren’t gritted,” she added.

Defending EDDC, Carolyne Hooper, of Partridge Road, said: “Perhaps the council wasn’t well enough prepared for the recent weather but we don’t normally expect to get so much snow down here in Exmouth.

“Are we prepared to pay for more snow ploughs that probably won’t get used again for the next couple of years and have our council tax go up?.

A spokesperson for East Devon District Council apologised for any inconvenience caused by the delay in collections.

“We understand how important it is to people that their recycling and waste is collected at the first available opportunity.

“We take this task very seriously and apologise for any inconvenience caused by the disruption to services.

“Whilst much of this has been due to circumstances beyond our control, we will be conducting a thorough review of our contingency plans, which were tested to breaking point by the recent weather.

“We want to learn from this situation so we can improve our response if the same conditions arise again”.