Since 2011 Labour has had five Cabinet members in this area, but while the personnel have changed the poor decisions have kept coming.
From closing Beckfield Lane, to cutting litter bins, to charging for green bins – it has been mistake after mistake. These policies have contributed to a fall in recycling and a rise in annual landfill tax to nearly £4 million.
Under the previous Liberal Democrat administration achievements in this area were significant with recycling rates increased from 12 per cent to 45 per cent.
This was indicative of our commitment to the environment – a commitment which also saw schemes implemented to cut council carbon emissions by 25 per cent (it achieved 28 per cent) and install solar panels on council homes.
Since 2011 Labour has thrown away this legacy and last year they rejected our calls for a cross-party commitment to make York the greenest city in the north.
I fear that Coun Merrett, fresh from his botched Lendal Bridge trial, will do little to halt this decline when it comes to waste and recycling policy.