The Town Clerk, Sheridan Jacklin-Edward has responded to the public’s outcry on the Councillors recommending to spend £19,000 on new cast iron heritage bins rather than refurbishing the existing ones.
Sheridan said, “Firstly, in this matter, as in all others, the Council will always aim to achieve the very best value for money. To do so, we often need to take a broad range of factors into account. In this instance, that includes upfront costs, ongoing maintenance as well as the frequency and cost of bin collection.”
The current bins are a mixture of cast iron and cast aluminium and a capacity of between 55-80 litres. Standard litter bins are usually 90-120 litres. The proposed replacement bins have a capacity of around 150 litres. Sheridan believes that their installation would reduce the frequency of overflowing bins and would potentially reduce ongoing bin emptying costs.
There have been in-house repainting of current bins in the past. Refurbishment would need to be carried out professionally and would involve sandblasting, powder coating or hand repainting. It would also need to include the renewal of the hand-painted gold detailing and the installation of robust new fixings and locks. The quoted costs of £6k for refurbishment does not include replacement metal liners or fixings so the cost may be considerably higher.
The Town and Community Committee were presented with and considered a full variety of options. These included replacement, part replacement and two different levels of refurbishment. In such reports, recommendations are made by the report author based on their professional judgement. It is important to note that whatever the recommendations, the final decision is down to the councillors. They are not obliged to agree with report recommendations.
This issue will be revisited at the Full Council meeting on 16 February. Ahead of this, the Council are arranging for one bin to be refurbished so that councillors can compare the quality against new bins. Members of the public are welcome at all meetings. A public participation period is set aside at the start of each meeting during which the public may ask questions or make comments. As always, we invite interested parties to attend and make representations. Full details about public participation are available on agendas. To participate email email@example.com for the meeting password. To attend a meeting but not speak you can view a live stream of the meeting via this link or via our homepage. Please ensure that you have read the public participation scheme note here.
Sheridan Jacklin-Edward, Town Clerk, added, ‘The range and tenor of pubic and councillor debate on this issue clearly demonstrates the pride that local people take in Henley. Now, as ever, it is vital that we ensure value for money. These two factors are entirely in line with the Council’s priorities. This decision will impact how the town looks and feels for years to come and it is important that we get it right.’
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