Protesters opposed to Banbridge District Council’s changes to its black bin collections say they are willing to take legal action.
Banbridge businessman Drew Gregg spoke on behalf of the protesters. He said: “Support is growing for our campaign on a daily basis and rate payers are asking us to take this as far as possible and we are not ruling out legal action.”
He added: “Neither councillors, council officers or civil servants in the council are listening to us, the rate payers.
“Already we have had contact with some council areas in England and in Wales who are objecting to their councils for changing from two to three week collection.”
Mr Gregg said that in 1983 the residents of Moorefield and Mount Charles had a bin dispute with the council which resulted in bins not being emptied for 20 weeks and residents won their case in the High Court.
He explained that a protest page where people can voice their opinion against the council switching from two to four weekly black bin collections has been set up on Facebook.
“A survey carried out on Banbridge Area News facebook page had over 2100 comments in total with over 1900 stating they want the two week collection. The Council’s own facebook page has many many comments opposing the four week collection,” he said.
Mr Gregg also informed the Leader that the council will be receiving an open letter this week asking for apologies after remarks made by several councillors. He commented: “At the council meeting Councillor John Hanna called those against the four week collections ‘Luddites’. Councillor Junior McCrum called those opposed to the four week collections ‘lazy’, and also said that petition numbers were ‘questionable’.
“Councillor Carol Black called those opposed to the four week collections ‘uneducated’.
“Quite a few other councillors objected to the letter of protest claims that councillors were not representing them and were not listening to their electors/ratepayers.”
Mr Gregg added: “The Council have said that the previous pilot scheme in January in the Gilford area was a success, yet we cannot find any resident in Gilford to back this up despite the council officers stating that they carried out a post pilot scheme survey with those in the pilot. A considerable number of the signatures on our petition was from Gilford area.”