Bohemia Village Voice  Bohemia Village Voice

For bohemians everywhere

Are communal bins coming to Bohemia?

Most local residents were delighted to hear that communal bins were not planned for Bohemia. But has our Council really abondoned its communal bin plans for Bohemia? We try to find out.

Councillor Andrew Cartwright said “Hastings Borough Council’s Cabinet met on Monday 27th April to consider the ‘Consultation Report’ on the communal bin scheme. The Cabinet decided that the scheme would not be implemented in Bohemia because a large majority of those residents who had completed the consultation form were against the scheme.” However, Andrew cautioned, “the Council still hopes to implement a communal bin scheme in parts of central St Leonards and central Hastings where a majority of residents support the introduction of the scheme. The problems with the current method of refuse collection still remain. Refuse spilling from black sacks still makes Bohemia’s streets dirty. Recycling rates are still low. For some time now I have been working closely with local residents and traders, the Bohemia Area Assn and petitioners.”
The 256-page April 2009 ‘Consultation Report’, by Colin Mee, (Head of Reycling and Waste at Hastings Borough Council) recommended 1) that the present communal bin scheme for 10,500 homes is ‘not progressed’; 2) that discussions take place with Veolia to see if a smaller scheme (5,000 homes?) is financially viable;  if it is, then 3) a small scale trial be conducted, in consultation with residents and that 4) a further report be submitted to Council. Colin Mee told the Village Voice that “No decisions about the area of the small scale trial have yet been decided. The point of the trial is to allow all residents, whether for or against the bins, to see how they work in practice. People think the bins will be like the OSCOR bins; they won’t; they’re very different.” When asked if Bohemia might be included in the reduced area scheme he said “Yes, there is a possibility this might happen; the area could potentially include Bohemia. I stress that no decisions have yet been made.”
Confused? This is what Hastings Council’s Director of Environmental Services Richard Homewood told us “I would agree with Cllr Cartwright  that the Cabinet resolve was quite clear that a partial communal bin scheme would focus on the central areas of Hastings and St Leonards where there is stronger support and in that respect the Bohemia area will not be considered as part of that proposal. We can never say never however and if a partial scheme was implemented in the two central areas and proved successful it might be that resident’s views in Bohemia could change in the longer term”.
Earlier this year, St Peter’s Road residents Bill Third and John Humphries conducted a vigorous door-to-door campaign against the bins, interviewing 288 people, of whom 252 (87%) were against the planned introduction, 17 said they were in favour and 19 either didn’t know or didn’t care. Other petitions were organised in Aldborough Road and by Dave Inder of Lower South Road, and Sharon Lee of Silverlands Road. Bill Third said “We were very appreciative of the help offered by the group ‘West Hill Against Communal Bins’ who provided hundreds of free posters [illustration] which we delivered around Bohemia”.

Richard Homewood

Richard Homewood



Colin Mee

Colin Mee

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