Yesterday Labour’s Bassam Mahfouz was bigging up the Borough’s recycling last year – 44%. This is an improvement on the administration’s previous three years which showed only a very slow improvement in recycling rates after they doubled under the Conservatives.
When the Concersatives were in charge recycling doubled from 19% to 38% in four years. Under Labour the rate of increase has been much, much slower. Recycling rose from 38% to 44% in the last four years.
Mahfouz refers to “inventive communications”. He maybe should have said “expensive communications”. The council has spent £300,000 talking about recycling over the last year. Most of it was spent in the run up to the local elections – ten times what Labour was allowed to spend on leaflets during the election campaign.
Labour keeps changing its mind on the idea of achieving 50% recycling of household waste in the Borough.
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At a council meeting on 16th December 2008 Cllr Mahfouz proposed that the council went for a target of recycling 50% of domestic refuse by 2010. This was easy to say in opposition.
At a cabinet meeting on 17th December Labour proposed to spend £700,000 to achieve a target of 50% by 2020 – backed by a massive advertising campaign that just happened to coincide with a local election. £300,000 of this cash was spent on advertising.
You might think that Labour would stick with this target having pledged £700,000 of public funds to get this idea across. But, only a month later, on 20th January the Ealing Labour party launched a pledge card that talked about 50% by 2018.
The benefit of Labour’s latest target is that it does coincide with the electoral cycle. Within days of the end of March 2018 we will know whether the council has achieved the target.