Local Schools Lose Free Waste Collections After Conservative Cuts

The latest impact of government cuts is that local schools will lose free waste collections. They will have to find extra money for this basic service, meaning more pressure on stretched school budgets .

Up to now, Liberal Democrats on Oadby and Wigston Borough Council had been able to provide free collections for schools, helping them to spend more money on educating our children rather than on paying for recycling to be taken away.

A long history of recycling in Oadby & Wigston

Oadby and Wigston had been able to continue to provide this service, where other local councils had not, because the Liberal Democrats had ensured that the council was one of the first to offer kerbside recycling collections.

By being one of the first, the Liberal Democrats were able to set up the council’s own sorting centre. This allowed recycling to make money, which was used to help provide the funds for extra services like free school recycling collections and free garden waste collections for residents.

Theresa May’s Conservative government continue to make huge cuts to local council funding and Council Tax is not allowed to be increased enough to cover this loss.

As a result, Conservative-run Leicestershire County Council decided to change how they funded recycling, which has meant Oadby and Wigston won’t be able to keep the recycling sorting centre.

This, together with cuts to Oadby and Wigston’s money from the government has meant that the council can no longer afford to keep school waste collections free.

We should be encouraging recycling, not charging for it

The Conservatives on County Council are in a complete mess on waste management. Tory cabinet member Blake Pain is promoting recycling in schools but at the same time, he brought forward the changes that led to our schools having to pay to get it collected.

With the damage caused by plastics in our oceans and the need to recycle as much of our rubbish as we can, these actions show how unimportant our environment is to the Conservatives.

Schools Face Money Pressures

The news comes as independent research shows over 1 in 14 primary schools are running deficit budgets in the East Midlands. Our schools will have even less money to spend on teaching as a result of cuts by Theresa May’s government and decisions by the Conservatives at County Hall.

Garden Waste Changes from April 2018

The Borough Council has taken the difficult decision to charge a yearly fee of £35 for fortnightly garden waste collections from April. The collections will become a year-round service, so there is no longer a winter break in collections. Limited help is available if you are in receipt of Discretionary Council Tax Support.

You can apply for the scheme online at the Council’s web site, by contacting their Customer Service Team on 0116 288 8961 or by visiting their Customer Service Centre at 40 Bell Street, Wigston, LE18 1AD.

Why is this happening?

Councils don’t legally have to offer a free garden waste service. In the past few decades, most councils have provided the service because local residents wanted it and the councils had the funds to do it.

Oadby and Wigston Borough Council was one of the first councils to offer kerbside recycling collections. By being one of the first, the Liberal Democrats were able to set up the council’s own sorting centre. This allowed the service to make money, which was used to help provide the funds for extra services like the free garden waste collections.

Theresa May’s Conservative government continue to make huge cuts to local council funding and Council Tax is not allowed to be increased enough to cover this loss.

As a result Conservative-run Leicestershire County Council decided to change how they funded recycling, which has meant Oadby and Wigston won’t be able to keep the recycling sorting centre.

This, together with cuts to Oadby and Wigston’s money from the government has meant that the council can no longer afford to keep garden waste collections free.

What are the alternatives?

County Council refuse and recycling tips take garden waste. You can also compost at home: Leicestershire County Council recommend Get Composting for subsidised composters.

Help for those on low incomes

In certain cases, you may be able to get help with the cost of the garden waste charge if you are in receipt of Discretionary Council Tax Support. Please contact Oadby and Wigston’s Customer Service Team on 0116 288 8961 if you think this applies to you.

Cold Weather

It’s cold out there – and going to get colder! The weather is forecast to become wintry over the coming days. We’ve put together some information on how to check if your child’s school is open; which local roads get salted;  tips for keeping warm (particularly the elderly) and helping (and help for) the homeless.

School Closures

Local schools will use their own web sites and sometimes social media like Twitter and Facebook to let parents know if they are close in bad weather. Many use email and text too. Parents can check with the school office if the school have your correct details.

If a school does close, don’t assume it will stay closed the next day once snow and ice is on the ground. Once main routes are cleared many schools will open so check the school web sites and other sources of information.

Salting/ Gritting Roads

Leicestershire County Council grit our roads and there is a map on their site to show which roads are covered. Red routes are top priority, orange routes have second priority.

Salt doesn’t always work: if it rains, then the salt can get washed away; if there is little traffic, the salt can take longer to work; if there is too much traffic the gritters can’t get around as quickly; salt stops working at really low temperatures (below minus 10 degree C).

Yellow salt bins (funded by the Borough Council) are also sited in some streets but are for use on public roads and footpaths only. They are usually where there is a hill or sharp bend. Please be aware that during bad weather, Leicestershire prioritise clearing main routes and may not be able to re-stock salt bins until the weather improves.

If you are travelling in Leicester, the City Council grits roads. They have a map of routes on their web site.

Looking after vulnerable and elderly neighbours

For some elderly or vulnerable people across Oadby, spells of cold weather can be a difficult time.

Popping in to check on vulnerable neighbours or make time for elderly relatives and friends to make sure they are warm, happy and healthy can make a real difference.

Top tips for supporting older vulnerable neighbours, friends and relatives, include:

  • Make sure they’re warm enough – the temperature in their home should be at least 18 degrees C, particularly if they are not mobile, have long term illness or are 65 or over and they may need to wear several layers of clothes to stay warm;
  • Make sure they are well stocked up on food, drink and medicines that they may need;
  • Try to make sure they have regular hot meals and drinks throughout the day;
  • The NHS’s Stay Well web site has more information about keeping well during winter.

Homeless and Rough Sleeping

Homelessness has more than doubled since 2015 and very cold weather can mean ill health and even death for rough sleepers.

Oadby and Wigston Borough Council provides advice on housing options for homeless people and details of No second night out, providing temporary accommodation for rough sleepers.

There are several local charities that accept donations such as SHARP (Shelter) and One Roof.

If you do see someone rough sleeping in the cold, The Metro had an article yesterday about what you can do to help and how to contact the charity Streetlink.

VIDEO: Vince Cable’s New Year Message 2018

Vince also says that he will carry on the Liberal Democrat record of being unafraid to swim against the tide, such as:

  • fighting for LGBT rights, including same sex marriage, secured when the Lib Dems were in government;
  • leading political opposition to the Iraq War;
  • warning about the 2007 credit crunch and 2008 financial crisis and then rebuilding the economy through initiatives like the industrial strategy and Green Investment Bank; and
  •  the only main national party speaking for millions of voters who oppose a hard Brexit that would damage the economy.

Christmas and New Year Rubbish & Recycling

At this time of the year, the Bank Holidays for Christmas and New Year mean changes to the usual rubbish and recycling collections in Oadby and Wigston.

Here are the details of the changes for this year:

Christmas Day Monday 25th December: glass and cooking oil will be collected on Monday 8th January. Recycling at communal flats usually collected on this day will be collected within 2 weeks.

Boxing Day Tuesday 26th December: refuse, recycling and textiles will be collected on Tuesday 2nd January (double collection day); glass and cooking oil will be collected on Tuesday 9th January.

Wednesday 27 December: refuse, recycling and textiles will be collected on Wednesday 3rd January (double collection day); glass and cooking oil will be collected on Wednesday 10th January.

New Year Changes

New Years Day: Monday 1st January: refuse, recycling and textiles collected on Monday 8th January; glass and cooking oil collected on Monday 15th January.

Full details of refuse and recycling collections are on the Oadby and Wigston Borough Council site. Don’t forget that you can also recycle at the Oadby Tip and at sites across the Borough.

Oadby Festive Lights Switch On TODAY!

OadbyLater today, Oadby Town Centre will see the first of three events in the Borough to switch on festive lights.

The annual event will run from 3pm to 7pm and include live music, a funfair, Santa’s Grotto and over 30 stalls.

The lights will be switched on by one of the Leicester Riders Basketball Team.

More details on the Oadby Festive Light Switch On Facebook Page.

(Note that some roads around the town centre will be closed for the event).

Photo © Mat Fascione (cc-by-sa/2.0)

‘Flu Vaccination Reminder

Don’t forget that it is the time of the year when ‘flu is more likely to be about. “At risk” groups can get a free ‘flu jab.

These groups are if you: are aged 65 or over; are pregnant; have certain medical conditions, are living in a long-stay residential care home or other long-stay care facility; receive a carer’s allowance, or you are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill.

Contact your GP surgery for more information.