I have just been sent the attached photo by a constituent.
It shows the bags of leaves he has collected up from the Priory Estate in Edgbaston (the estate with the tall tower blocks beside the County Cricket ground). The trees which dropped these leaves are Council trees, the leaves dropped on community land and gardens.
My constituent is one of many caring and hard working people across the city who collect up these leaves and bag them up for the Council to collect.
My constituent says that he won’t be doing this next year when the Council is expecting him to pay for a wheelie bin to put them out in (they wouldn’t all fit in a wheelie bin anyway) – and who can blame him? How many other people across the city feel the same? How much is it going to cost the Labour Council to collect these leaves themselves from next year? Or won’t they bother? And if they don’t, what happens when people slip on them and fall?
Another constituent who does the same in a different part of the ward, and who has also made a similar complaint, tells me that anyone who suggests it’s easy to compost leaves clearly has never tried doing it! He says he has found it takes 3 years for the leaves to break down into a usable compost. So you’d need a lot of compost heaps!
Birmingham Council should be encouraging people who take care of their neighbourhoods by collecting up leaves from Council trees. Instead Labour is imposing a charge on them from next year.