Wednesday, 12 May 2021

Town clerk defends £19,000 bill for new litter bins

Town clerk defends £19,000 bill for new litter bins

A DECISION to spend £19,000 replacing Henley’s heritage bins has been defended by the town council.

Deputy Mayor David Eggleton resigned from his party during a meeting of the council’s town and community committee meeting last week when members approved the idea against his advice.

The self-employed waste contractor had argued that the 16 cast-iron bins would have a much longer life if they were refurbished.

The other six bins are made of cast aluminium.

The cost of refurbishing the bins would £6,000 but the committee agreed to replace them by five votes to three with one abstention.

The new bins will have a capacity of about 150 litres, which is nearly three times as much as the current ones and the council says will reduce the frequency of bins overflowing and reduce the cost of emptying them.

The new bins will also be cast iron and of a similar design to the current ones.

Town clerk Sheridan Jacklin-Edward said: “The range and tenor of public and councillor debate on this issue clearly demonstrates the pride that local people take in Henley.

“Now, as ever, it is vital that we ensure value for money. These two factors are entirely in line with the council’s priorities.

“This decision will impact how the town looks and feels for years to come and it is important that we get it right.”

The council said previous efforts to repaint the current bins had been unsuccessful and that this would require professional work.

It also said the figure of £6,000 given at the meeting to refurbish the bins would in fact cost be “considerably higher” as it did not include replacement fixings or metal liners.

The issue will be discussed again at a full council meeting on February 16.

The council will arrange for one bin to be refurbished ahead of the meeting in order to allow councillors to compare the quality against a new bin.

Mr Jacklin-Edward said: “The town and community committee were presented with and considered a full variety of options. These included replacement, part replacement and two different levels of refurbishment.

“In such reports, recommendations are made by the report author based on their professional judgement.

“It is important to note that whatever the recommendations, the final decision is down to the councillors. They are not obliged to agree with report recommendations.”

Members of the public can attend the virtual meeting. To take part in the public session, email clerk@henley

Cllr Eggleton now sits as an independent councillor, having the left Henley Residents Group, which controls the council.

• What do you think? Write to: Letters, Henley Standard, Caxton House, 1 Station Road, Henley or email letters

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