Wera Hobhouse wears 'rubbish' dress at council meeting!

February 7, 2008 12:00 AM

Rochdale Council's Environment Cabinet Member, Councillor Wera Hobhouse, lightened the atmosphere of a sometimes tense and at times tedious council meeting in a debate on recycling and alternate weekly collections by cutting a pretty picture sporting a 'rubbish' dress made by primary school children!

Councillor Hobhouse explained that she had promised the children she would wear the outfit during the debate to highlight the need cut down on excess packaging and the need to recycle more.

All parties agreed with Councillor Hobhouse's motion to put pressure on manufacturers and retailers to cut down on excess packaging and also to urge supermarkets to use biodegradable packaging and encourage the use of reusable bags in place of plastic carrier bags.

The council she said aims to become a "plastic bag free" zone and wants to encourage residents to start using a "bag for life" or an alternative to avoid excess unnecessary waste on excess packaging.

The only dissenting voice was a mild one with Councillor Zulf Ali saying that the cost of paper bags was more than plastic which was why small shopkeepers could not afford to use paper bags. Another councillor said that travelling in a car using "bags for life" was easy but not so easy on a bus, to which Councillor Colin Lambert responded that he does not drive and has no problem doing so.

However, in the main there was a consensus that excess packaging needed to be discouraged and a move away from plastic bags encouraged.

Conservative councillor Ann Metcalfe gained agreement when she asked that we all support small local shopkeepers instead of doing a bulk weekly shop at supermarkets.