RAGING town councillors have slammed the district’s “appalling” waste collection service - branding it a mess of empty assurances and constant failed collections.

At a meeting on Tuesday, Harwich town councillors were united in their condemnation of the new service, which began its rollout in June.

The scheme has seen tens of thousands of wheelie bins delivered across the district as Tendring Council switches many homes to a fortnightly collection service.

More than 11,000 households are continuing with a weekly black sack collection, although collection dates have changed.

Town councillors Charlie Powell, Maria Fowler, Bill Davidson, Tanya Ferguson and Ivan Henderson all spoke of occasions when residents had reached out for help.

Mr Davidson said he had even resorted to helping a disabled woman to move her bins down a short flight of stairs due to consistent missed collections.

“They refuse to walk up the stairs and take them – we are talking about a severely disabled lady,” he said.

“I had Veolia out with Tendring Council, I took them to the house and they assured her they would sort it.

“Guess what? They didn’t pick it up and now I am in the same position.

“They have been taking her rubbish forever - now all of a sudden they won’t walk up a flight of stairs.

“I’ve done everything in my power, it doesn’t make one iota of difference.

“Their excuse is it’s dangerous - they can’t walk up six or seven stairs - I don’t understand it.”

Miss Ferguson said when residents do get through to the council to ask for help, they are often treated rudely.

She said: “I rang up and got really short shrift from the lady - I use the word lightly - who answered the phone.

“She was rude, she told me my rubbish would be picked up and that of my neighbours, that I didn’t need to worry and it would definitely be today.

“I said ‘OK’ and it still wasn’t picked up.

“The response from the council, on top of the issue, has been less than impressive.”

Mr Henderson said Tendring Council has “lost control of its contractor.”

“Every one of these people who are phoning us are paying their council tax - that is the thorn in their side,” he said.

“They haven’t stopped paying their council tax for a basic service.

“I’ve had a resident contact me today to say they still don’t have their bins delivered.

“They’re putting the rubbish out and Veolia are refusing to take it because it’s not in a bin.”

Mrs Fowler added: “Our residents don’t deserve this treatment, it is appalling.”