SECRETARY of State Eric Pickles has aired his thoughts on the great bin debate gripping Chester on a visit to the city.

Mr Pickles, who was attending a conference of Cheshire and Wirral Conservatives at Christleton, believes hard-working residents should have weekly waste collections along with recyclables, whereas Cheshire West and Chester picks up general waste every fortnight and recyclables every week.

However, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government made clear his main concern is that food waste should not be left to fester and in Cheshire West the food caddy is collected every week.

He told The Chronicle: “Don’t get me wrong, what I’m really concerned about is organic collections. I just don’t want the remnants of someone’s chicken tikka masala left festering for a full fortnight and I think in some ways it’s almost a class issue.

“If you’re a big detached house it probably doesn’t matter but if you’ve got the bin right next to your back garden in a semi or a terraced house it makes a very big difference.

“All I’m simply doing is trying to give a level playing field so that the pressure that’s been on local authorities for the best part of a decade to move towards fortnightly collections is released and I’m working very closely with Owen Paterson, Secretary of State at DEFRA, to produce a set of guidelines that shows how you can increase recycling but still have weekly collections.”

Chester MP Stephen Mosley, who was at the conference, said the new bin contract was bedding in.

He said: “There were teething problems but most of them seem to be settling down now. The contractors themselves have got some issues they need to sort out. One of the things I’ve noticed and I know people have complained about is a slight increase in the amount of litter because they are sorting these things on the street.”