ALTHOUGH I understand we are facing unprecedented times, I find it difficult to comprehend why such an aspirational authority as Darlington council has difficulty emptying the refuse and dog bins.

It appears if you live in Aycliffe or Stockton, the capacity to do this has been prioritised and continues to be performed.

Why if you live in Darlington should it be different?

The powers-that-be at our council took the decision to class this as a non-essential service. This decision prompted some councillors to raise their own concerns about the possible impact on health.

The council placed yellow signs sealing the bins shut and I watched this being done by a council worker. The sign he left gives you the impression that these bins are going to be emptied just not “on a regular basis”. If the bins are taped up why would they need emptying at all and if they are eventually going to be emptied why tape them up? The message itself is somewhat contradictory.

We’re now seven weeks in and surely by now workers that may have had to self-isolate could potentially return to work?

This is a service undertaken by one worker and a van so social distancing should not be an issue. Interestingly enough, the council can find workers to post planning application notices in Eastbourne but can’t find workers to empty bins which remain taped up – just what are their priorities?

Although residents should ultimately adhere to the council’s request and take your rubbish/dog waste home with you, I feel the council should have foreseen what the potential consequences of this decision would be – more fly tipping, dog mess and potential health hazards!

R Fitzpatrick, Darlington