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MPs Tom Tugendhat and Tracey Crouch step in over complaints about bin collections in Tonbridge and Malling

More than 18 months of a “shabby” bin collection service has left rubbish piling up in the streets.

Now MPs Tom Tugendhat and Tracey Crouch have written to Tonbridge and Malling council leader Nicolas Heslop, insisting more needs to be done to tackle the continued problem of missed rounds and litter coated verges.

Urbaser has missed recycling and cardboard collections previously
Urbaser has missed recycling and cardboard collections previously

Fly-tipping in the borough had risen by more than 76% during the pandemic - double the Kent average.

Urbaser took over the waste contract in October 2019 and has been plagued by blunders from the outset, even being fined last year after skipping up to 1,000 collections a day.

The MPs are now asking both parties to do better, saying the firm has been “sluggish” to respond to the issues.

The letter said: “Residents have raised concerns that the current waste collection service is not providing the service we require.

“We have seen a rise in litter, fly-tipping and uncollected waste. This has left many of those we represent frustrated and angry.

MP Tom Tugendhat. Picture: Parliament TV
MP Tom Tugendhat. Picture: Parliament TV
MP Tracey Crouch
MP Tracey Crouch

“It is clear that since Urbaser started delivering waste services across Tonbridge and Malling their performance has been significantly short of what we, and all the residents, expect.

“We would appreciate it if you could articulate in the strongest possible terms our deep disappointment at the state of the borough, and identify the action that will be taken over the coming days to resolve the problem.”

The action is being backed by Cllr Andrew Kennedy (Aylesford North and Walderslade) who receives between 20 and 50 emails each week from residents on the issue.

He said: “It has been going on for more than a year. It’s a shabby service and it isn’t on. Both Urbaser and the council need to up their game, or find a new contractor.

"Council tax payers are our customers but unlike customers of a business, they have no right to take their customers elsewhere, they are stuck with us and they can't withhold payment for poor service.

"You wouldn't put up with that in the private sector but week after week residents are not having their bins emptied, if they are it's late and they are having rubbish strewn across the road."

Urbaser and TMBC were approached for comment

Read more: All the latest news from Tonbridge

Read more: All the latest news from Malling

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