Anger of bin collection arrangements in Netherlee

Netherlee residents are angry over being forced to leave bins on the street.
Netherlee residents are angry over being forced to leave bins on the street.

Furious Netherlee residents hit out at councillors during a heated full council meeting last week.

It came after local authority chiefs rejected plans to overturn a rule which prevents bin lorries from entering lanes across East Renfrewshire.

Independent councillors David Macdonald and Paul Aitken criticised the regulations, which were brought in last October, branding them “unacceptable”.

Cllr Macdonald claimed that residents were being forced to leave bins on the street, leading to theft and bin fires, with one household having had two cars blown up after a bin fire spread.

But SNP, Labour and Conservative members claimed the move to avoid lanes was due to health and safety fears.

That prompted angry shouts of “shame” from the public gallery, with Provost Jim Fletcher threatening to remove residents on four occasions.

Speaking after his motion to overturn was rejected by 15 votes to two, Cllr Macdonald said: “Naturally we’re disappointed. It was a very emotional gallery tonight and you can get a good sense of the anger amongst residents.

“Some of the distances that people are being asked to take their bins are in excess of 50-100 metres.

“In my view this is an extremely bad decision made by ERC officers that benefits council employees only and has no benefit whatsoever to residents.

“Residents are fundamentally being forced to partially collect their own refuse and recycling and I find this to be totally unacceptable.”

Cllr Macdonald said wheelie bins were regularly stolen and burned in Netherlee and Stamperland. He also pointed to an incident where fire was set to three bins with the blaze then writing-off two cars.

He added: “To date my constituent has total losses of approximately £3500.”

Backing his colleague, Cllr Aitken said: “Sometimes pedestrians have to walk on the road because the bins have taken up the access on the pavements.

“I think bin lorries can endanger pedestrians on public roads whereas nobody is on the bin lanes.

“In my opinion there is less chance of people being injured when using bin lanes.”

Some Netherlee residents have chosen to leave their four bins lying at the front of their properties.

And questions were raised over whether plans to turn the area into a conservation zone would be successful if the problem continued.

But council leader Tony Buchanan said that councillors were simply supporting recommendations made by the environmental department.

He said: “The last thing that we could have would be support for something that would cause injury or something far worse.”

Conservative Group leader Stewart Miller admitted he had previously supported lorries being allowed to use lanes. But he insisted that after researching the issue he changed his mind.

The SNP’s Netherlee councillor Annette Ireland, backed the council’s decision to reject the Independents’ motion, claiming her decision was not politically motivated.

She added: “It’s only a matter of time, if these lorries are allowed back into these environments, that someone will be gravely injured.

“There is an assisted collection service and if anyone needs help let me know and I’ll sort it out.”