“HALF-baked” plans will see every Southend home visited to assess if there is enough space for wheelie bins...and residents could be fined for overflowing rubbish.

Councillors raised a string of concerns as they met to debate the introduction of new wheelie bins and fortnightly bin collections as part of a new waste scheme coming into force next year.

During a council scrutiny committee meeting, councillors were told the new waste contractor will visit every single home in the city to decide if they have enough room to store the bins.

Those that don’t will continue to have plastic sacks collected with a kerb side service.

Councillors were also told that residents could face fines for overfilling the new wheelie bins.

Speaking at the meeting, Carole Mulroney, Lib Dem councillor for Leigh ward, said: “There’s nothing in the plan to tell residents no side waste, no top waste, bin lid down.

“If they don’t do it, they’ll get fined and is there a contingency if people leave stuff on the side or on the top and it doesn’t get taken? If it’s incontinence pads or nappies, that’s a health hazard.”

Concerns were also raised about residents having to place wheelie bins in their front gardens.

Meg Davidson, Conservative councillor responsible for the environment, sympathised but said: “Having nice grass wouldn’t be a reason not to have a wheelie bin.

“I can understand people’s distress if their garden that is their pride and joy had to have wheelie bins on them.”

Lydia Hyde, Labour councillor for St Laurence Ward, said: “This paper shouldn’t have come here tonight. It’s just not ready. There is no detail on how we are going to assess the suitability of the special kerb side service.

“This paper hasn’t said whether it’s going to be fortnightly or weekly so there are going to be people who cannot have a wheeled bin but they might not be able to store two weeks’ worth of sack waste in their property.”

However, Steve Wakefield, Independent councillor for Shoebury, said: “There are some good points that have come out. I’m all for wheelie bins and I’m glad we will have a hybrid system across the town so we can keep the streets a lot cleaner.”

Councillors called for the cabinet to reconsider the policy in light of their concerns Ms Davidson said there were “valid concerns” that would be looked at.