Shapps: ‘I didn’t criticise Welwyn Hatfield Council refuse policy’

WELWYN Hatfield MP Grant Shapps was accused of hypocrisy after he appeared to criticise the council’s new refuse regime on national TV.

Resident Sylvia Challice was watching ITV1 breakfast show Daybreak last Wednesday morning, when Mr Shapps appeared speaking about problems with bin collections.

Ms Challice said Mr Shapps had called for the scrapping of fortnightly rounds.

She said: “I think he is a bit of a hypocrite when this council is introducing this scheme soon.

“Does he not know what is happening in his own backyard?

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“I think he looks like he has a bit [of] egg on his face.

“He obviously doesn’t know what is happening in his constituency now he was elected.”

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But the MP rejected the suggestion that he had badmouthed Welwyn Hatfield Council’s rubbish collection policy.

Asked whether he’d criticised the new �3.4m waste strategy, Mr Shapps said: “No, I didn’t.

“I think the alternate weekly collection is probably going to work ok.

“Obviously in Welwyn Hatfield’s case it is being used with additional recycling, which I think people will really welcome.”

He praised the new plastic recycling scheme, saying “it will make a really big difference”.

He added: “I think Welwyn Hatfield is doing the right thing.”

Although he conceded the scheme is “not going to be without controversy”.

He said his criticism on the show, fronted by Adrian Chiles and Christine Bleakley, was of strictly fortnightly collections – where binmen only turn up every two weeks, rather than alternate weekly collections, where different types of waste are collected on different weeks.

But it appears that Mr Shapps was railing against a practice which does not even exist.

The Welwyn Hatfield Times checked with the Local Government Association and a spokesman told us that in his experience, he had “never heard of” a single council in the country where collections were only made once every two weeks.

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