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Council applies to own fund to pay for more officers
Haringey Council applied to its own ‘innovation’ fund to help pay for five new officers to deal with its waste collection policy.
The Labour-led council launched the “One Borough, One Future Fund” as a way for anyone with an innovative idea which could bring positive change to the community and tackle inequality to apply for part of the £1.2million cash fund.
However it was revealed in a briefing to councillors from cabinet member Nilgun Canver the council has bid for money from the fund to pay for five full time officers to deal with waste collections until March next year.
Lib Dem councillors have condemned the bid and say it is a sign the council’s waste collection policy is in chaos as extra recourses are required.
Councillor Rachel Allison said: “You couldn’t make this up. Only in Haringey could you have a council who has to apply to its own ‘innovation’ fund to get bin collections right.
“How much is this mess going to end up costing the taxpayer?
“The One Borough, One Future fund is supposed to tackle inequality not bin collections. The only thing that's unequal about this is that Haringey's refuse collection is clearly not equal to Camden's."
Changes were brought in to waste collection earlier this year which saw household waste collected once a fortnight, rather than once a week in an effort to save £900,000 a year and encourage recycling.
Councillor Jim Jenks, Lib Dem spokeswoman for environment said: “The fact that the council has applied to its own fund for more resources is unbelievable. Bin collections are a basic service that all residents pay council tax to provide.
“The Lib Dems have said over and over again that Labour should have consulted on this major service change.
“If it had done so it would have been aware in advance of the problems the council is now facing.”
A spokeswoman for Haringey Council said: “The fund was open to everyone to ensure we got the very best ideas to tackle inequality and improve our borough for the future.
“This bid was nothing more than a service area looking for additional funds to complement important engagement work for a scheme already driving up recycling rates.”
The council has received more than 300 bids for the ‘One Borough, One Future’ fund which was open to bids from different groups including residents, voluntary groups and council officers.