Public anger is growing after larges piles of rubbish lies uncollected on the streets of some parts of England.
North London, Exeter, Merseyside and Birmingham are among the areas where household refuse has not been collected for up to four weeks in a crisis caused by the weather and councils refusing to empty bins on bank holidays.
Local Government Minister Bob Neill said some people might wonder if the councils had peoples’ best interests at heart, despite residents paying council tax in order to have the council provide such services.
Neill has written to all English council leaders telling them that “the public deserves better”.
In his letter, Mr Neill writes: “A regular bin collection is one of the most basic services council taxpayers pay for.
“Families who have been told to stockpile their rotting refuse inside their own homes by councils are entitled to wonder if their council views the rubbish collection as just a favour, not a right.
Exeter’s Labour leader Peter Edwards fuelled the fire, telling media he didn’t see the build-up as an issue.