Our Labour run council has been moved into the relegation zone for recycling. Birmingham is now in the bottom 10 councils for their worst recycling rates in England.
Figures for 2016/17 show that only 24.4% of household waste is recycled, reused or composted. This compares to 42% in Solihull, 41% in Sandwell and 37% in Dudley. Nationally the rate was 43.7% - with the top performing council scoring 65.4%.
Liberal Democrat campaigner Colin Green said “This is a disgrace, Labour are letting down Birmingham and making us a laughing stock nationally. At the January Council meeting, Labour rejected Liberal Democrat calls for a trial of food waste collection, showing again how little they care about the environment.”
Nationally, the Lib Dems introduced the 5p plastic bag charge, since then plastic bag usage is down by 83% - that’s 9 billion plastic bags.
Colin added “The Liberal Democrats have been campaigning, since 2016, for a charge on disposable cups. Every day more than 7m coffee cups are thrown away, we can’t carry on like this. We also need to ban all plastics that cannot be recycled. Only the Liberal Democrats are standing up for the environment and making Birmingham a cleaner, greener place to live.”
Your local Liberal Democrats are calling for a trial of food waste collection in Birmingham. Lib Dem candidate Colin Green said “A recent Council report found that 48% of all Birmingham’s general waste was food waste. There is no reason Labour couldn’t have already introduced food waste collections saving money and helping the environment, it shows their lack of ambition.”
Food waste collections will save money and help the environment. Latest figures show the UK is throwing away £13 billion worth of food a year, much of which could be collected and used to produce energy or fertilisers."
Commenting, Ian Garrett, Liberal Democrat candidate for Harborne said “Ideally less food would be wasted, but that which is thrown away could be useful. The Liberal Democrats are calling on the Council to trial food waste collections.”
You can sign the Liberal Democrat petition asking Birmingham City Council to trail food waste at :
A big thanks to those who have taken part in our recent campaign to highlight the problems faced by local police. You have told us of your concerns that the police seem to have disappeared from the local streets - and you don't know how to contact them.
Our Liberal Democrat crime survey found overwhelming dissatisfaction with the level of local policing and also raised serious questions about the 101 helpline used by police forces. Your local Liberal Democrats are pressing for action to stop the collapse of community policing, warning that effective local policing is vital for effective crime prevention.
The survey found that just 2.5% of people are "very satisfied" with police visibility in their area. In contrast 35.5% said they were "very dissatisfied". Amongst those who had used the 101 service over half said the service was unhelpful, they couldn't get an answer, never heard back or that nothing happened.
Local Liberal Democrat campaigner Ian Garrett said “The results are disturbing. Neighbourhood policing is vital to crime prevention. It is also an open secret that the police officers on neighbourhood police teams now spend most of their time on paperwork, rather than being out and about in their communities. There are few police stations open and there are no local phone lines, only the 101 service if you can get through and even then there is no guarantee of any help”
The Liberal Democrats have called on the government to invest more in local policing and for the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner to examine the roles of police community support officers and of the 101 service.
Colin Green added “Local policing is essential in reducing crime, gathering intelligence and reassuring the community. There are fewer officers now than ever has been in the history of West Midlands Police and yet their workload has increased, we need more investment to make our streets safer.”
Housing associations, councils and charities are all saying the rollout of the universal credit is a disaster in slow-motion. Payment delays of six, eight or sometimes ten weeks are causing people serious financial problems. Many families feel forced to choose between not paying their rent, not eating or taking payday loans or similar which can lead to spiralling debt. Changes to Universal Credit are causing this hardship. It comes down to government penny pinching. The rollout of Universal Credit should be stopped until its problems are solved.
Birmingham’s Christmas market will lose the big wheel and ice rink from this year. Labour’s £10 million reflective pool in Centenary Square means there will not be room for the City’s usual attractions. The pool is a wasted opportunity to do some social good in the city. Now it is going to spoil the Christmas festivities too.
Vince Cable has set out the direction he wants to lead the country, in his first conference speech as party leader. An Exit from Brexit, a return to Economic Stability, and an increase in Intergenerational Fairness.
“Anyone who doubts the relevance of the Liberal Democrats should reflect on the three great disasters perpetrated by the two main parties in recent years: the war in Iraq; the banking crisis; now Brexit.” said Vince Cable as he opened his key note speech.
"At the end of these tortuous divorce negotiations, the British public must be given a vote on the outcome. Let me be clear about this. This is not a call for a re-run. This is not a call for a second referendum on Brexit. This is a call for a first referendum on the facts. When we know what Brexit means, the people should get the choice: the government deal or an ‘exit from Brexit’."
Liberal Democrat Leader Vince Cable has called for a "renaissance of manufacturing" and a massive injection of infrastructure investment in the Midlands, in a speech today at his party's Autumn conference.
The former Business Secretary will warn that the UK economy remains overly reliant on property markets and banks in London and the South East.
He will then set out policies to tackle regional inequality and rebalance the economy, including a "massive injection" of investment in railways, broadband and housing.
The next bin collection in Harborne will be on Tuesday and Wednesday 12th and 13th September.
With the resumption of strike action, Harborne is not currently scheduled to have a household refuse collection this week.
The strike has resumed following staggering mismanagement by the Council's Labour leadership. They U turned on their plans for the refuse collection service, to get the Union to suspend the strike. But they now admit the Council couldn't afford to make this concession, so they were forced to U turn again and withdraw it, leading to the resumption of the strike yesterday.
The next time Labour tells you there's no money, show them this. They're spending £10 million pounds redeveloping Centenary Square. We reported in December that it was a missed opportunity and that the money could be better spent.
Birmingham’s Refuse collectors have voted to strike over planned job losses. The job losses come as the Labour run council is desperately trying to cut costs. Their introduction of wheelie bins cost way more than Labour predicted. Plus the running cost of switching to wheelie bins has cost the council more per year.
Labour spent over £60 million on wheelie bins, new lorries and tablet computers for bin crews. The scheme has failed. Our streets are still dirty, refuse collections are still missed and recycling rates have fallen.
To fix these problems, a Lib Dem led council would bring back green waste collections and introduce food waste collections for composting, which would increase recycling. We would bring back one bulky rubbish collection per household per year to reduce fly tipping and the cost of cleaning it up. And we would reverse cuts to street cleaning. We would not be afraid of taking any hard decisions needed to sort out our refuse collection service.