THE councillor in charge of the troubled waste collection service in Winchester has been accused of complacency by the opposition Tories.

Cllr Lynda Murphy is overseeing the service which has been blighted in recent months by a change in collection days, poor quality service, with missed collections and patchy roll-out of the new glass recycling service.

Senior Tory Cllr Stephen Godfrey said Cllr Murphy, Cabinet member for environment, was being “complacent” and has had more meetings with Lib Dem councillors in Eastleigh than the one with Biffa in the first four months.

He said: “Do you care about the collection of waste, do you care that the glass collection is not working. When are you going to show an interest in Winchester?”

Cllr Murphy is the Lib Dem parliamentary candidate in Eastleigh at the General Election.

But the Lib Dems responded pointing out the service had been transformed in recent weeks.

Cllr Martin Tod, Cabinet member for member for service quality and transformation, said things were improving. He said there had been only 31 missed collections last Tuesday, or 0.3 per cent of 10,000 collections due.

“I’m not satisfied with that and have made it clear I want a root cause analysis of everything that goes wrong to make sure we get to zero.”

Cllr Murphy said she had met Biffa at several joint committee meetings held with East Hampshire District Council with whom Winchester was then in partnership.

She continued: “The implementation of the contract extension had been worked out in detail and, apart from the unforeseen delay in the distribution of the collection calendars, proceeded as smoothly as could be expected.

“Making changes of this nature and magnitude will inevitably result in some initial disruption but overall, a month on from the new service being introduced, the operation has bedded in and, overall, the service is working effectively.”

The Lib Dems took over running the service from the Conservatives following their victory in the elections in May. The poor service then was a major part of the election campaign.

National company Biffa is responsible for disposing of household rubbish from 47,000 households across the district.