WEEKLY bin collections in Southampton have been saved by an £8m windfall, the Daily Echo can reveal.
The service was set to be axed amid widespread spending cuts. But today the Government confirmed the city's bid for cash had been accepted.
Southampton was awarded £8.28m from the Government's Weekly Collection Support Scheme.
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said: "Every Englishman has a basic right to have their household rubbish taken away each and every week - it is the most visible council service people get."
Reacting to today’s announcement, Cllr Asa Thorpe, cabinet member for environment and transport, said: “This is the news we have been waiting for and it’s great news for the people of Southampton. Weekly rubbish collections are safe at least until 2017. We knew we had a great bid, and that’s why I took the risk of increasing the amount requested to take into account extra service improvements to glass recycling and home composting.
"It’s a tribute to our officers who put the proposal together that we have been awarded the full £8,280,000 when the scheme was oversubscribed nationally. I’m happy to say this had cross-party support within the council and I thank those councillors who also lobbied government on behalf of Southampton and our bid.
“Today’s announcement means our budget for next year will be amended to take into account this ringfenced funding and it will mean that we can keep safe more jobs in our refuse team.”
The council will receive £1,973,000 in this financial year, £3,352,000 in 2013/14 and £2,955,000 in 2014/15.