21 bins left on street sparks debate on keeping pavements clear

Garden waste collections will return to normal in East Suffolk on Monday, September 28. Picture: Chris Bishop

The conversation at Norwich City Council's meeting turned to keeping pavements clear. - Credit: Archant

Debate turned to who should be keeping Norwich's pavements clear after a councillor spotted 21 bins on a street after collection day.

In a written question ahead of Norwich City Council's meeting on Tuesday, Green Party councillor Denise Carlo sought clarification if responsibility lay with the city council or Norfolk County Council.  

Ms Carlo said she had visited one street with 21 bins left on the pavement outside of collection day. 

She said: “The city council responded that action would be taken only if there was a health and safety problem.” 

Cllr Denise Carlo. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Cllr Denise Carlo. Picture: Neil Didsbury - Credit: Archant

She said she had a back and forth with the two councils over who was responsible, before the county council’s executive director of community and environmental services said it was the city council's.  

“I went back to the city council’s portfolio holder who described the county council’s words as ambiguous,” she said. 

In a written response, Kevin Maguire, cabinet member for safe and sustainable city environment, said the city council “regularly takes responsibility for bins that are causing an inconvenience or obstruction".

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“However, it is clear from the responses received from the county council that there is some ambiguity surrounding the principle responsibility for obstructions on the highway, and it was this that I was attempting to clarify with the county," he said.

In a follow-up question, Ms Carlo queried whether if residents reported bins left on streets if officers will take action in future. 

Mr Maguire apologised to Ms Carlo for not replying to her emails as quickly as she would have liked, before adding that she had taken “valuable time” from officers and members of the council.  

Councillor Kevin Maguire. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Councillor Kevin Maguire. Picture: Victoria Pertusa - Credit: Archant

"Specifically, in response to the supplementary question, I largely refer you to my answer. But, to the very specific question: Yes." 

Later in the meeting, fellow Green Party councillor, Sandra Bogelein also asked if the leader of the council would support Norwich being a pilot city for proportional representation (PR) – a voting system where seats are allocated on vote share - after local  Labour members voted on a motion in favour. 

Sandra Bogelein said several people had contacted her with problems booking coronavirus tests. Photo

Sandra Bogelein. - Credit: Archant

Paul Kendrick, cabinet member for resources, responded that nationally the Labour Party had not taken a position in favour of PR but said there was a “healthy debate” within the party. 

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