AN invasion of rats on a Winsford estate has led to demands for council chiefs to look at fresh ways of tidying up the town.

Last week the Chronicle reported how mother-of-five Siobhan Walker, 23, of Cambridge Avenue, Winsford, was forced to ban her children from their own back garden after it became infested with vermin.

Mrs Walker blamed Vale Royal Borough Council's refusal to give her family an extra household waste bin despite the fact there are seven people living in the house. As a result of the council's decision, piles of bin bags and rotting rubbish have been piling up around her garden, attracting vermin.

Mrs Walker also slammed the fortnightly Kerbside Recycling Scheme, introduced in 2003, and now a long-term opponent of the controversial system has come up with a solution.

Cllr Brian Lloyd, the Labour group leader on Vale Royal Borough Council, said: 'The idea of installing communal bins on Winsford estates should definitely be looked into.

'Replacing individual household bins with larger ones that everyone can use is a way round the problems we've been having. At the minute, people have more rubbish than their bins can cope with and it piles up in their garden, which can attract rats, as we have seen.

'Some people have been forced to take their rubbish to the skip, but if we had communal bins you would only have to take it down the road. It would also make sense for the council because they would only have to pick up rubbish from a few places, rather than every house.'

Cllr Lloyd first raised the issue at a council executive group meeting 12 months ago and decided to highlight the issue again after hearing about Mrs Walker's plight.

Malcolm Gaskill, Vale Royal's lead councillor for environment management, said: 'It is incorrect and unfair to the public participating in the fortnightly collection scheme to suggest that it is responsible for rubbish and bin bags being deposited all over Winsford estates.

'The overwhelming majority of households are actively participating in the recycling scheme and consequently are able to cope with the fortnightly collection of their residual green bin.

'The issue of depositing surplus black bins of rubbish in the street is now only regularly occurring in a minority of areas, and there is clear evidence that indicates that this is directly linked to residents in those areas failing to recycle.

'The authority has already taken action to encourage participation in these areas and stop the indiscriminate depositing of rubbish. Where rubbish is being indiscriminately deposited, legal enforcement will be taken against individuals.

'Cllr Lloyd's suggestion to use communal bins on Winsford estates has been taken seriously and will be considered as part of the options available to solve the problem. However, evidence from other local authorities indicates that communal bins do not actually reduce the amount recycled; indeed they are an open invitation to throw everything away.' 'The authority recognises the need to continually improve the current recycling service and the introduction of the plastic collection trial will hopefully enable us to evaluate the feasibility of introducing such a scheme borough-wide.'


Should the council provide communal bins?

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