'It was a shambles, now I'm calling it a disaster' as Denbighshire's recycling woes continue

Denbighshire’s cabinet were slammed for the failed roll-out of the council’s new recycling scheme this week by backbench councillors. At a cabinet meeting at Ruthin ’s County Hall HQ, several councillors took aim at the executive committee after it was acknowledged that some residents hadn’t had their rubbish collected for three weeks.

Denbighshire ’s leader again apologised to residents whilst chief executive Graham Boase called the botched recycling roll-out ‘unacceptable’. Lead member for recycling Cllr Barry Mellor said: "I'm pushing the officers to increase the pace of the improvements to the collection rates.

"I was out on the wagons this weekend along with the CEO and the corporate director, and this has given me a first-hand knowledge of the difficulties residents are facing as well as the hard work being put in by our crews who are doing extra shifts to ensure we get as many homes (collected) as we can during this implementation.” He added: “The hard work that I've witnessed directly gives me confidence we are getting on top of this issue and that the system will be successfully embedded. It will not be as quickly as initially envisaged, but we'll get there."

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Cllr Mellor then thanked the residents for their patience. But several backbenchers took aim at the cabinet, taking exception at Cllr Mellor suggesting that the new recycling scheme was put forward by the previous cabinet.

Cllr Brian Jones said: "Well done, Barry Mellor, for bringing it in the public domain, blaming the previous cabinet for where we are today - massive example of weakness, core performance, and I know that Barry Mellor said reflects what most of the cabinet think - blame the previous administration.

“It is a sign of weakness, and it is a sign that you haven't got a clue what you’re doing to resolve the waste matters. Please don't make any more apologies because it is making us all look stupid in the eyes of residents.” He added: “They don’t want to hear apologies. The biggest failing in all of this is you haven't listened to the people on the job.”

Cllr Huw Hilditch Roberts said: "I called it a shambles, but I'm at the point now where I'm calling it a disaster because we are two weeks further down the line and there are people who haven’t had a collection since May.”

Cllr Bobby Feeley added: “My main concern is for the residents. I feel mortified and embarrassed about what has happened. I know it is happening all over Denbighshire. I've represented Ruthin for over 30 years, and I've never known anything like this.” Councillors were told an emergency meeting would take place on Monday 8 July once the election has finished.

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