Councillor says he won’t back black bins ‘policy’

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A local councillor has announced he will not be backing monthly black-bin collections as official Banbridge District Council policy should the issue be put to the vote.

The DUP’s Paul Rankin is the first councillor to declare against official adoption of the waste collection trial that opened the lid on recent ratepayer protests. In so doing, he pointed out Banbridge District Council would cease to exist in April next year and it would be for the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon council to determine its own waste policy.

He said: “Banbridge District Council needs to be prepared to contemplate that elected members on the ABC supercouncil may not adopt monthly black-bin collections as the way forward for the new ABC council.

“Banbridge District Councillors cautiously approved an initial ‘pilot trial’ in October 2013, which was extended and is currently covering 15 out of 25 council bin-lorry routes.

“The trial findings are to be factored in for the consideration of the new council.

“What Banbridge District councillors have not voted for to date, have not been asked to vote for, is to consider adopting monthly black-bin collections as the ‘official policy’ for the whole of Banbridge District Council.

“I personally would not be voting in favour of any proposal to adopt the monthly black-bin collections as the ‘official policy’ of Banbridge District Council, when on Apri 1, 2015 Banbridge District Council will cease to exist., amalgamating with Craigavon and Armagh.

“It will be up to the newly elected ABC Councillors, including myself, to decide the way forward for the whole ABC council area and not just Banbridge.”

At an October meeting of Banbridge council’s Environmental Services Committee, Mr Rankin, seconded by party colleague Councillor Hazel Gamble, proposed the black-bin trial be reviewed early in the new year. He proposed a report - to include some detail of any ongoing discussions between officers of the three component ABC councils - be prepared regarding waste collection and recycling options available to the new council.

“As an elected ABC Councillor,” he said, “I look forward to considering all of the options with regard to waste and recycling, for the whole of Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon, along with my colleagues on the new council.”