A LEADING councillor fears new wheelie bins and fortnightly collections will cause chaos in Southend, with piles of rubbish left strewn across streets.

Southend Council is in talks over a new waste contract but Labour councillor Lydia Hyde fears it will result in chaos, uncollected bins, and streets becoming “dirtier and dirtier”.

The St Laurence ward councillor fears the city could see similar consequences to Basildon, where weekly sack collections have been replaced by fortnightly wheelie bin collections causing outrage among residents and major issues with collections.

Tory cabinet member for highways, Kevin Buck, insisted the administration has “not changed anything started” by Labour when it ran the council.

Ms Hyde said: “We are sleepwalking into post-apocalyptic chaos and we could be locked in for many years, we will see our streets get dirtier and dirtier. We are coming up to the April deadline to agree the new waste contract and we have to think about the coverage of the bin lorries and the waste recycling centres, this contract will cover our street cleansing and fly-tipping, beach cleaning and out street bins.

“All of that detail I would expect now to be a series of policies, no direction has been seen and currently we have a complete void. This is the biggest contract we as a council are procuring for a number of years, we are locked into it.”

The councillor fears not enough questions have been answered around how the collections will work, and if residents will be fined for overflowing bins.

She added: “What disturbs me is there are so few answers, there is enforcement planned if someone cant shut the lid on their in or if they have a bit too much, with a few extra baby nappies, we are looking at a potential fine.

“We also have a lot of waste not produced by residents, we have seven million visitors and we could be looking a situation where we are looking at Basildon and being jealous of that. Regardless of party politics, this is such a serious concern to be sorted.”

Tory cabinet member for Highways, Kevin Buck said: “The current waste contact being procured is a contract and tender that the labour administration put to the market. We have not changed it anything going through was started by the Labour administration.”