The puns were flying when the leader of Crawley’s Conservatives accused Labour of making ‘misleading claims’ over the town’s weekly refuse collection.
Duncan Crow was less than impressed when election leaflets lauded the weekly collections, telling residents: “We can afford to maintain local services because we’ve worked hard to replace all the money the Conservative Government has cut from Crawley.”
While not refuting the issue of funding cuts, Mr Crow, who hopes to be re-elected in the Furnace Green ward, said the leaflets ‘falsely’ gave the impression that Crawley only had weekly collections due to Labour’s hard work.
Calling on his opponents to ‘come clean’ and admit that their claims were ‘a load of rubbish’, he added: “The truth is that the existing seven-year household waste collection contract was arranged under the previous Conservative administration in 2013 and implemented from February 2014, before this Labour administration took office in May 2014.
“This means that weekly collections will continue until 2021 regardless of who runs the Town Hall, and it is only the Conservatives in Crawley who pledge not to change from weekly collections in 2021.
“What we will do differently is improve Crawley’s poor recycling rate which under Labour is the lowest in the whole of West Sussex.”
Labour leader Peter Lamb, who has his eye on a Parliamentary seat as well as standing for re-election on the Northgate & West Green ward, responded: “It’s Mr Crow who’s misleading.
“Conservative-controlled West Sussex County Council, of which Mr Crow is a member, has regularly stated Crawley should end its weekly bin collection, the current contract could easily be amended to do so and it would produce a saving.
“Yet to their frustration, Crawley’s Labour administration has made it clear the weekly collection will be staying for as long as residents want it.”
Only 17 per cent of authorities still offer weekly household waste collections – Crawley included – with neighbours Horsham, Mid Sussex and Chichester offering a fortnightly collection and Adur & Worthing due to do the same from September.
Crawley’s recycling rates have been the subject of much debate.
While they are the lowest per person in the county, recycling figures include garden waste. With far more flats and fewer large gardens than the likes of Horsham, Crawley produces less of this.
A council spokesman said the town’s record for ‘dry’ recycling was in line with the rest of the county – and slightly better than Horsham.