A MOVE to change weekly bin collections to alternative weeks in the borough has been upheld despite strong local opposition.

Recently it was announced that the bin collection regime in Wokingham Borough will change, with collections being fortnightly rather than weekly, and blue bin bags for general waste being replaced with wheelie bins.

However, food waste collections will remain weekly.

People in Wokingham Borough, which include villages and Reading suburbs, have enjoyed weekly waste collections for the past 20 years.

However, the council’s Liberal Democrat-led administration announced plans to change the collection regime arguing that it would save £1 million per year, with these changes being approved at an executive committee meeting last week.

Following this, the Wokingham Conservatives put a motion forward calling for the blue bin bags and weekly collections to be retained.

The motion was backed by a petition to keep the collections as they are, which had been signed by 2,000 people.

The motion passed with 27 votes to 25, prompting hope that weekly collections could remain.

READ MORE: Push to keep weekly bin collections in Wokingham wins in nail-biting council vote

But now, a top council official has told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that the changes will go ahead anyway, despite the motion being successful.

Simon Dale, the council’s interim director of place and growth, said: “At a full council meeting, a majority of councillors present voted to support a petition to keep weekly collections.

“The council’s constitution gives decision-making powers to its executive committee rather than to the full council, meaning that the vote last night is advisory only and does not reverse the decision made by the council’s executive.

“We need to reassure residents that the proposal to change to fortnightly collections for rubbish and recycling, with wheeled bins for rubbish, still stands and we are starting to work on the change programme.

“We know that this is the right thing for the residents of Wokingham Borough, as it will increase our recycling rate and save us £500,000 in the first year and £1million every year after that.

“The vast majority of councils collect general rubbish fortnightly because it provides the best balance of needs – financial, environmental, and convenience for residents.”

Mr Dale went onto cite a council consultation, which received more than 9,000 responses.

Results showed 24 per cent said they like the idea of moving to fortnightly collections – which Mr Dale pointed out was more than those who signed the petition to save weekly collections.

Another 43 per cent of respondents said they can accept fortnightly collections, with the same number liking the idea of having a wheeled bin for rubbish.

Mr Dale also pointed out all other Berkshire councils have wheelie bins, along with 85 per cent of councils in the country.

Mr Dale added: “For those with genuine concerns about the changes, like large families with children, exceptions will be made.

“The details of the changes will be considered and shared with residents before roll out, and further survey work will take place to look at how suitable certain property types are for the changes.”

The changes only affect general waste and recycling collection.

Food waste will continue to be collected on a weekly basis, and garden waste will continue to be a paid-for fortnightly service.