Labour Councillor Stephen Lambert, as ever ready with a quote, was "staggered". But at least it was interesting to see that Labour were keen on the scheme. This however, has not always been the case as the Labour party has a bit of a history on this very scheme.
It goes back a year and your have to cross over to Labour run Gateshead to get the full picture. Labour in Gateshead put out a leaflet which claimed the following about the Newcastle recycling scheme that the city was introducing: "In a classic case of putting the (waste) cart before the horse, LibDems in Newcastle rushed through a policy which they have had to reverse after committing huge resources and wasting millions."
Labour had simply made up this story. There was not a shred of truth in it. It was purely and simply a Gateshead Labour lie. The reality was that the Lib Dem run Newcastle council was investing in a greatly expanded recycling scheme. That same scheme has raised Newcastle to being one of the top performing councils on recycling in the region, recycling 35% of household waste. Gateshead's figure is 25% and is bottom of the league.
Far from being an abandoned scheme on which millions of pounds were wasted, the Newcastle scheme is a green beacon that massively outshines the performance of the Gateshead Labour party who so blatantly attempted to mislead about what was happening.
Now we have a Newcastle Labour councillor suggesting that the whole scheme is so great that he wants more of it.
We did write to the Labour party last year to ask them either to offer some proof for their absurd allegation or to withdraw it. I did get a reply but it offered none of these - instead the person responding simply denied any responsibility for the contents of the leaflet (he was the "editor"!) and fingered another Labour member instead. In the end, no one in the Labour party had the decency even to withdraw the allegation.
And now, having condemned the scheme as a collapsed waste of money, Labour are demanding more of it. What an interesting turn around (to put it politely).
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