Stirling Council has been accused of “keeping secret” its unpopular overhaul of bin collections.

Opposition Tory councillors say that plans to collect grey and blue bins once a month, agreed by councillors recently, were part of a “secret agenda to bring these cuts and charges forward without any prior notice”.

The Observer reported last month how the controversial changes were voted in, meaning that the collection of the grey and blue bins will be reduced from fortnightly to four weekly and a £35 charge is to be introduced for the disposal of garden waste.

Furious residents hit out over a lack of consultation on the plans, set to come into force next year.

Despite strong opposition from residents and opposition councillors, the council’s ruling SNP and Labour administration gained enough support to push it through by 12 votes to 10.

Now, Stirling Council’s Tory group say that a ‘waste and resources plan’ had been agreed by councillors back in November 2019 and was due to be tabled for approval in April this year.

They say that they agreed to a five to 10-year plan and that there was no previous mention of any cuts to collections or charges.

According to the minutes of November 14, 2019, environment and housing committee councillors agreed to develop a five-10 year waste and resources plan for approval at the environment and housing committee meeting in April 2020. They also agreed to conduct a series of “engagements” with both internal and external stakeholders, as proposed by Councillor Jim Thomson and seconded by Councillor Danny Gibson.

Leader of Stirling’s Conservative group, Councillor Neil Benny, this week said: “These official minutes prove these changes have been kept secret for months and are not what was being talked about in the public forum.

“There was clearly an agenda to bring these cuts and charges forward without any prior notice and to deliberately avoid any opportunity to consult with the people of Stirling before they were pushed through.

“This completely vindicates people’s anger and why the huge backlash against these cuts and charges must be listened to.”

A council spokesperson said: “The waste and resources plan is a five-10 year strategy that will include a review of all functions of waste and cleansing services, and the recently proposed transformational changes. The strategy document will also provide an overview of relevant legislative drivers and national targets.

“The paper was not taken forward to April committee due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis. A date has yet to be confirmed as to when this paper will be taken to committee.”

Labour Environment spokesperson Cllr Danny Gibson added: “The public will note that yet another week has gone by where the Tories have completely failed to tell anyone what they propose instead.

“We all know the status quo cannot continue and that changes need to be made.

“What exactly do they suggest?”

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