Overflowing bins on the Isle of Wight seafront could become a regular feature this summer, an Isle of Wight councillor has warned.
Following £11.4 million worth of cuts to the highways PFI contract, roadside bins will not be emptied as regularly — which could hit seaside towns during the busy summer season.
Andre: Town council doesn’t have funds to pick up tab
Councillor for Sandown North, Debbie Andre, said town and parish councils could not afford to foot the bill to clear away extra litter.
“The bay area is at the forefront of tourism on the Island. It was voted one of the best beaches in the country. Now we have got that accolade we should do everything we can to protect it.
“Sandown town council has not got the funds to pick up the tab for more rubbish collection.
“I am incredibly concerned about the impact this is going to have, and it’s an incredibly serious issue that needs more scrutiny.”
Ashman: Reduced service level
Island Roads service director Steve Ashman said although the level of service would be reduced, he was confident residents would continue to receive a ‘high quality programme’ of highways improvement and maintenance.
Critchley: Cuts pose ‘a real risk to our economy’
Ryde town councillor, and Island Labour chair, Julian Critchley added:
“I am concerned about this decision. Not just the bins, although that’s certainly bad, but also the unmaintained verges. We’re a holiday island, and our economy is dependent upon tourism.
“The image which we sell is of a neat, clean, beautiful place, with handsome Victorian towns, stunning countryside and some of the best beaches in the country.
“Overflowing bins and overgrown roads aren’t just an unpleasant eyesore, but a real risk to our economy.”
Ward: “The service was better than needed in some areas”
The cost-cutting plans have been drawn up by the Isle of Wight Council and Island Roads, based on advice provided by former highways PFI council officer turned private consultant Jay Jayasundara of Jasmine Consulting.
Cabinet member for infrastructure and transport, Cllr Ian Ward said:
“These changes are an evolution of the original contract as we have discovered the service was better than needed in some areas.”
Mr Jayasundara was paid almost £130,000 for eight months work — and will remain on the council’s payroll for another year.
Image: © Sandown Hub