Legal ruling on rubbish collections

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There's important news in the national press today for those who have problems with lots of household rubbish. A solicitor, Roger Houlker, has won a long battle with Congleton Borough Council to be given a second bin. Congleton will, of course, make up part of the new Cheshire East unitary council that will also include Audlem from next April.

The local government ombudsman, or should that be ombudswoman, Anne Seex, has found Congleton BC guilty of 'maladministration with injustice' (we think that roughly means 'guilty') for failing to collect Mr Houlker's extra waste and told the council to review its policy. The council confirms it is doing so.

The ombudsman adds that she had reservations about whether bin men could refuse to pick up extra bags. Councils that only collect waste left in wheelie bins could have to provide a second bin to households with a 'reasonable' need for one.

A spokesman for the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said councils should interpret the rules reasonably.


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