A protest committee set up in opposition to Banbridge District Council’s introduction of once monthly bin collections says local councillors are “ignoring” their concerns and “resignations may have to be called for”.
In a joint statement from protest spokesmen Drew Gregg and Paul Scappaticci on behalf of the protest Committee they said: “We believe that quite a number of ratepayers have been writing via email to all Banbridge councillors and most are saying that only two or three councillors ever bother to reply.
“We ourselves have sent emails to all councillors and have only received three responses all appear to be sitting on the fence until they see the outcome of this so-called trial.
“The ratepayers are crying out for councillor support but it seems that not one is prepared to support or back their electors.”
“Most are just ignoring them which tells us they are all supporting the four week scheme, those who have replied are just directing their electors to the council offices.”
Outlining their plans they said: “We are at Stage one of our graduated response with Stage two about to commence and we will continue, until all concerned in this debacle, sees sense and along the line we believe that resignations may have to be called for.”
They continued: “We are all in favour of recycling, why else would Banbridge have the best record for recycling in Northern Ireland? “However in the past the council brought the people along with them, this time is different, this time they have upped the campaign by bullyboy tactics and in a dictatorial fashion and that is why the people of the district are turning against both the council and its councillors,” they explained.
The spokesmen described the scheme as “a very ill-thought-out scheme”.
They added: “Should they decide to put a hold on this ludicrous scheme and consult with homeowners on the best way to move forward (which they should have done from the start) then we would assist and submit alternative suggestions on how to increase recycling.”
Meanwhile DUP councillors, in a statement said: “We understand that the findings of the four weekly black bin trial will be available around February. But, we will be seeking for ‘projected findings’ to be brought before Council sooner than this, so that a Council decision can be made as to whether this trial is ended, or continues until April 2015. What the ABC Council decides to do from April 2015 is a matter for them.”
As we have already made clear, the DUP position is ‘under review’ and our Party group will take into consideration the feedback from those ratepayers experiencing this trial when arriving at a conclusive stance. We would like the Council to discuss this matter sooner rather than later and decide whether to end the trial or not.”