I was recently contacted by a number of childminders in my constituency, who were very upset to learn from the Council that they would be required to use commercial bins to dispose of the waste their jobs generated. The childminders with whom I spoke said that at the moment, they barely fill their domestic bins, and commercial bins do not allow them to recycle.
They added that commercial bins would cost these businesses between £120 and £220 per year, and that the waste their businesses generated would be indistinguishable from domestic waste. Essentially, the only waste that childminders really generate is nappies, which is the same as any family with young children. It therefore made little sense why they would be required to use different, more expensive bins.
This is a cost that most childminders cannot afford to incur, especially with the so-called ‘free childcare places’, which already reduce childminder income.
I wrote to the Council to express my concerns, and convey the concerns of my constituents who contacted me.
I am really pleased to report that the Council, in response to the surge of public opposition, has taken a U-Turn on this proposal. They have frozen current plans, pending an urgent policy review that will look into whether this is a good idea. I will continue to urge the Council not to take up this proposal, but I am glad that they have recognised the needs of my constituents, and have taken a moment to reflect on an ill-conceived policy.
I will continue to do my best for my constituents and to raise their voices where they need to be heard, be that at the local authority level, or with the Prime Minister herself.