Council faces questions over 'awful' overflowing bins at Coventry cemeteries

Overflowing bins at the London Road cemetery civilian war grave, 8 June 2024
-Credit: (Image: Trevor Harkin)

Overflowing bins at Coventry cemeteries have left residents concerned - with some branding the problem "disgusting." Opposition councillors raised the problems at a Coventry City Council meeting on Tuesday, July 9.

Coun Gary Ridley said locals had contacted him about issues at London Road Mass Grave. And Coun Marcus Lapsa said he had received several complaints about Canley Crematorium.

He told members: "A lot of people come from many miles to pay respect to loved ones and to see that type of mess was quite disgusting." Problems with piles of waste on bins at the crematorium were reported on by Coventry Live last week.

READ MORE: Residents' fury at 'disgusting' overflowing bins at Canley Crematorium in Coventry

One local called the situation a "disgrace," according to the article. The state of bins at London Road attracted attention on social media last month, with people calling it "horrible" and one saying "we should be ashamed as a city!"

Waste at Canley Crematorium on Cannon Hill Road
Waste at Canley Crematorium on Cannon Hill Road -Credit:Adam Rice

In her responses to questions, senior councillor Patricia Hetherton said the council switched contractor earlier this year which had led to "some disruption" in collections. She added: "We have been assured there will be no further delays to collections."

It was revealed at the meeting that the new provider for the waste collections was council-owned company Tom White Waste, which took over in April. This sparked a follow-up question from Coun Ridley.

He asked Coun Hetherton: "Would she not agree with me that as we own Tom White Waste, any problems with them, this is effectively the tail wagging the dog?" But the cabinet member for city services claimed that did not matter.

She responded: "At the start of any sort of contract, it doesn't matter who the service providers are, sometimes we have teething problems." She added: "The instructions they had, they clearly didn't follow it out according to how we would want them to be done."

Meetings had taken place with them and Tom White knew "exactly what is required," and monitoring was also in place, she said. "Yes it was absolutely awful to see it," she admitted.

But she claimed the problems had been dealt with "very quickly" and added: "we won't see the like of them again." Coun Lapsa asked if the council would look at procuring a different contractor if the problems continued.

Coun Hetherton stressed that it was a new service and officials expected it to improve. "Of course if it's not right. We will look at it again, but I will say at this stage we expect it to be right and we won't accept anything other than that."

Sign up for our FREE daily newsletter here for all the latest news about Coventry