Hundreds have hit out at plans to move to fortnightly bin and waste collections in Wokingham, Woodley and Earley.

Neighbours in Wokingham Borough have enjoyed a weekly waste collection service for the past 20  years.

However, the Liberal Democrats in control of Wokingham Borough put forward a bid to scrap the weekly service in favour of fortnightly collections amid mounting financial pressures.

More than  1,779 residents have signed a Wokingham Conservatives petition calling on the Liberal Democrat controlling party to retain weekly bin collections.

The petition was presented by councillor Norman Jorgensen (Conservative, Maiden Erlegh) at a full council meeting on Thursday, February 16.

Cllr Jorgensen said: “I am presenting a petition on behalf of nearly 1,800 residents of Wokingham Borough. These residents wish to carry on having their rubbish collected weekly.

“Last summer, at an executive meeting, I asked the Liberal executive member to commit to retaining weekly collections and he declined to do so.

“All the noises coming from the ruling coalition group have pointed to them choosing to introduce fortnightly general and recycling waste collections regardless of what borough residents want.”

Bracknell News: Councillor Norman Jorgensen (Conservatives, Maiden Erlegh) introduces the petition at the full council meeting. Credit: Wokingham ConservativesCouncillor Norman Jorgensen (Conservatives, Maiden Erlegh) introduces the petition at the full council meeting. Credit: Wokingham Conservatives

The council held a survey on changes to waste collections which concluded last December.

Cllr Jorgensen argued that only 24 per cent of respondents liked the idea of moving to fortnightly waste collections according to the survey results.

Meanwhile, the council’s administration declared that 67 per cent of respondents like or can accept fortnightly collections – the total being those who liked the idea with the 43 per cent who said it would be acceptable.

Leader of the Conservative Group cllr Pauline Jorgensen said “I am pleased that we have presented this petition at council.

“The coalition didn’t give residents the chance to express their views on keeping weekly waste so conservative councillors have brought those views to them.

“We fear that this move to a less frequent service is going to cost the council significantly more, to begin with, than the current weekly waste collection. It may also lead to an increase in fly-tipping.

“We have had overwhelming feedback from residents across the political spectrum that they don’t support this change. We don’t think it provides value for residents who are paying for it through Council Tax.”

Bracknell News: The Wokingham Conservatives outside the full council meeting. Credit: Wokingham ConservativesThe Wokingham Conservatives outside the full council meeting. Credit: Wokingham Conservatives

The Conservatives attempted to amend the budget to retain weekly collections at the full council meeting, but the amendment was defeated.

Defending the change, councillor Ian Shenton (Liberal Democrats) executive member for the environment said: “It is encouraging to see so many residents support moving to fortnightly rubbish and recycling collections.

“It’s the right thing for our finances and it’s the right thing for the environment.

“We hope to see the changes come into force as soon as possible, because this would save us about £700,000 per year right away, followed by a higher amount after starting a new waste collection contract in 2026.

“We are looking at the responses as quickly as we can, so that we can identify and address any issues or concerns that residents raised to us in our final proposals.”