MORE than 1,500 people have signed two petitions calling for the return of York litter bins which were controversially taken away to cut costs.

In June City of York Council removed 349 bins – more than a third of the city’s total number – to save the authority £40,000 a year on collection rounds, although some have since been replaced.

However, calls for even more to be replaced have continued and a petition set up by Liberal Democrat campaigners in the Huntington and New Earswick ward, where 25 bins were removed, now has more than 1,000 signatures.

The Lib Dems say a more far-reaching rethink of the ruling Labour group’s decision is needed.

Resident Chris Twells, who helped organise the petition, said: “The response has been overwhelming - residents are angry the bins were removed without warning or consultation and are worried litter and dog mess in the area is increasing as a result.”

Lib Dem group leader Coun Carol Runciman , who represents Huntington and New Earswick, said: “While it is good that some bins have been returned, the council needs to go further.

“Bins should be returned where there is a demand to do so and where an increase in litter has been reported. I hope this petition will encourage Labour to get out of their Guildhall bubble and start listening to ordinary residents.”

Meanwhile, more than 500 people have signed a petition calling for several bins in Dunnington to be returned, with residents saying they are needed to maintain the village’s image after its recent gold award in the Yorkshire in Bloom competition.

Dunnington resident Linda Maggs, who has been involved in setting up the petition, said: “We do our best to help ourselves and work very hard to keep the village in fine condition, so we feel the least the council can do is replace three bins which are very well-used and support us in our endeavours.”

Coun David Levene, cabinet member for environmental services, said bins had been replaced where there were problems, such as near bus stops and schools.

But he said: “Tough choices are required and savings have to be made.

“We will be responsive where there is evidence of the need for bins and where very limited resources allow, but the Liberal Democrats could be more constructive in encouraging the responsible disposal of litter and dog waste.”