Scope left disappointed after Bromley Council refuses to back down over clothes bank decision (From News Shopper)
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Scope left disappointed after Bromley Council refuses to back down over clothes bank decision
AN EVICTED charity has been left fuming after the council refused to consider allowing it to put clothes collection banks back on the borough's streets.
Scope presented Councillor Colin Smith with a petition containing signatures of 1,400 people angry at Bromley Council's decision to not let the charity have its collection banks on the streets.
The charity had been gathering signatures since April after the council announced it was introducing a textile collection service which would be subcontracted out to a private company.
Its doorstep collection service is expected to be rolled out by the autumn and its Chris Carey Collections branded collections banks replaced Scope banks last month.
Bromley Council says around four per cent of the waste which ends up in the bin is textiles so is hoping its collection service will reduce this figure.
Despite the petition the environment portfolio holder told a meeting of full council on June 25 he would not be reconsidering the issue.
Alex Macaulay, retail area manager for Scope, said: "I’d like to thank the residents of Bromley for signing our petition and giving us the opportunity to address the council.
"It's disappointing that despite widespread opposition from locals, serious questions over the lack of consultation and continuing concern over how much of the money raised from residents’ donations in Bromley will now go to charity, Cllr Smith did not reverse his decision to evict us from our textile bank sites.
"We are pleased Cllr Smith agreed to meet with us to explore ways to reduce the impact this decision will have on the funds we can raise for our work with disabled people and their families."
"We hope that the fantastic support from residents continues and we encourage every reader to bring anything they don’t wear to our shops where, unlike the council banks, we can turn old clothes into support for disabled people."
Scope, which provides support for cerebral palsy and other disabled people, had run the borough’s 34 clothes banks for the last 10 years.
Councillor Colin Smith, executive councillor for environment said: “I can only really repeat what has been said previously on this subject.
"Scope have enjoyed over 10 years as a monopoly service provider on council property and cannot argue they have not had a fair crack of the whip.
"It is also not true to allude that the new service provided by Chris Carey Limited, a local company providing jobs to local people fails to benefit charities.
The reverse is true – they support many charities themselves including Save the Children, Demelza House, Harris HospisCare, St Christopher’s Hospice, Salvation Army, Peace Hospice, Mind, Barnardos and Garden House Hospice.
"Whilst we understand Scope’s disappointment, it is absolutely critical for local taxpayers that we recycle more at every turn, if we are to maintain our own support for key vital services to vulnerable people.
"Whilst we would keenly encourage all residents to continue donating clothes to a charity of their choice, the recent changes will serve us well in achieving this key goal.”