The unpopular £35 green garden waste policy is coming to a welcome but slow and very shabby end. On Friday a cross-party committee will meet to consider the results of the consultation with residents about the changes to waste collection. This involved several meetings of varying worth and polling 1000 residents as I have written about previously. The results are overdue as I write, having been earmarked for publication yesterday.

As usual, the LibDem Executive have not bothered to wait or have an advanced copy. Last Friday, they held a group meeting with the two MPs in attendance and agreed to the expected u-turn. Having agreed to scrap the charge, the two MPs issued a press release demanding that the Council, er, scrap the charge.

The whole episode has been a shambles from beginning to end. I am amazed that they have not learnt any lessons and still seek to treat consultation with such disdain. They have come up with the right answer in this instance but this is not because of the expensive communication exercise that they have just undertaken. This was merely a way of justifying the climbdown. Either they have sat on an advanced copy of the results and are refusing to let others seat it or they have decided without considering residents’ views.

LibDem backbenchers are seeing their future on the council melting away in the light of this incompetence. I hope that you as residents share my anger that you are just a pawn in the LibDem hierarchy’s game of political survival. I’m afraid that you have another 18 months of being treated as someone whose chequebook should be seen, but definitely not heard.