FAMILIES can get rid of their bulky household waste free of charge thanks to three councillors who have funded the week-long scheme.
Labour councillors Marjorie James, Allan Barclay and Stephen Akers-Belcher have donated £2,000 from their ward member budgets to fund the collection service across the Manor House ward, in Hartlepool.
Hartlepool Borough Council’s bulky household waste collection service, which operates across the town, usually charges £15 for three items or £7.50 for people on certain means-tested benefits but the new initiative means each of the 4,500 homes in the Manor House Ward are eligible for one free collection.
Collections, which must be booked in advance, begin on Monday, March 31 and continue until Friday, April 4. So far 100 collections have already been booked.
Coun James said: “We are aware from our caseloads that many families across the ward are struggling to meet day-to-day bills and expenses. With this in mind, we have tried to assist those who need to dispose of large or electrical items safely.
“The fact that so many people have already booked collections just shows how much residents appreciate the assistance being given by local councillors.”
Coun Akers-Belcher said: “This initiative fits in with our ambition for a clean ward that we have been striving for in lots of other ways too.
“I am delighted with the response of residents and I’d like to thank them for supporting our efforts to improve the area.”
Coun Barclay added: “This is a great example of how our ward member budgets are being used to support families right across the ward.
“The initial response from residents has been fantastic and I would urge others to book their free collections as soon as possible.”
Each Hartlepool councillor receives an annual ward budget of £5,000 to spend of schemes in their ward.
Streets across the ward have been allocated a specific collection day and full details are in letters delivered to every household in the ward.
Only household waste will be collected and any items deemed to be “trade” waste will not be accepted.
Organisers say items must be put out for collection by 7.30am on the day of collection and they must be clearly visible to council staff.
Collections will be carried out between 7.30am and 3.30pm, although it is not possible to provide residents with a precise collection time.
Residents must specify the items they require collecting when making a booking.
To book call (01429) 523829.