NEWPORT City Council has strongly denied claims that it is considering reducing rubbish collections to once every three weeks.

Cabinet member for Streetscene Councillor Roger Jeavons said three-weekly collections is not “on the agenda” when the council considers its budget for next year.

The Argus reported yesterday that the leader of the council’s independent group Cllr Kevin Whitehead claimed the system could be introduced as early as next year.

But Cllr Jeavons has hit back, saying he is “very concerned” that people might be “misled” over the claims.

“We have a working party which is looking at ways we can deliver the service that will result in an increase in recycling.” said Cllr Jeavons. “This working group is considering all aspects of waste management and recycling, and everything must be on the table.

“Some suggestions may be progressed, while others may be removed, and at this stage three-weekly collections are not part of our budget considerations.

“Misleading statements to suggest otherwise is just scaremongering and upsetting for our residents.

“We have thousands more houses being built across the city which have to be added to our routes, so we are looking at ways to make our collections more efficient. It does not mean the introduction of three weekly collections. We are well aware our residents do not want this and it is currently not on our agenda.”

He added: “Recycling is a priority for the council and we might have to consider further measures if people choose not to participate in our recycling schemes.”

Cllr Chris Evans, who represents the Rogerstone ward, previously said that “the people of Newport shouldn’t be bounced into bin collections every three weeks”.

We also reported that councillors on a working group had visited another local authority in Wales to see how it handles its waste strategy.

A spokeswoman for the council said Cllr Evans, as a member of the overview and scrutiny management committee scrutinising the council’s waste policies, is aware of the visit made to Conwy by the member working group.

She said: “However, it is wrong to assume that because Conwy has three-weekly collections that Newport will follow suit. The visit was undertaken to look at all aspects of Conwy’s waste management and recycling approaches, and will report back to the scrutiny committee in due course.

“This visit was not paid for by Newport City Council but was a fact finding mission funded by the Welsh Government.”

Cllr Evans reacted: “I do sit on the scrutiny committee as does Cllr Matt Evans.

“To say three-weekly bin collections ‘are not in the budget’ is a bit misleading as the budget hasn’t been set for next year or the year after and so on.

“I call on them to give a 100 per cent cast iron guarantee that they will not introduce three-weekly bin collections during this council term.”