ST HELENS' Conservative leader has called on the local authority to scrap proposals for three-weekly brown bin collections.

Rainford councillor Allan Jones congratulated Labour's David Baines on his appointment as St Helens Council's new leader.

But said he hopes the Windle councillor will scrap proposals for three-weekly brown bin collections and the fee that residents have to pay for green bins.

Speaking at St Helens Town Hall this afternoon, Wednesday, Cllr Jones said: "Congratulations to Cllr Baines on his appointment.

"He is now taking on a major job. I am pleased that he has been selected.

"I have asked Cllr Baines for an early meeting with him and he has agreed to that. We can look at how we can work together for the people of St Helens.

"Ahead of that meeting I would call on him to abolish any thought of a three-week planned (brown) bin collection and to look at ways of abolishing the payment for the green bins.

"You've got a long job ahead of you but if you propose the right things we will support you."

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Proposals to trial a revised weekly recycling collection in two borough wards while moving brown bin collections to every three weeks were approved last year but the pilot scheme has been delayed.

The annual full council meeting also saw councillor Pat Ireland handing over the mayoral chains to Sutton councillor Janet Johnson.

Councillor Johnson became emotional during her maiden speech but she was greeted with a round of applause at the end.

Cllr Johnson said: "I did not realise being mayor was like This is My Life.

"I would never thought in those early days of married life (Cllr Johnson is married to former councillor Anthony Johnson) that things would have turned out so well when we were struggling just to put food on the table.

"I think that striving to improve life never left me and so when we had more time we filled it with politics, always wanting to help others to make the most of their lives like we had.

"And to create opportunities for a better future and to help make a better St Helens for our family to grow up in.

"Who would have thought that little Janet Seddon who wouldn't say 'boo to a goose', would one day become first citizen of her hometown of St Helens. I know I wouldn't have."

The deputy mayor was confirmed as Blackbrook councillor Paul McQuade.

Cllr Johnson will be supporting Whiston and St Helens Hospitals’ Charity as her mayoral charity to support the care of the elderly department.