LIVERPOOL council is set to turn down a £10m government grant to improve bin collections – because accepting the money would increase costs in the longer term.
Opposition parties said the bungle was humiliating for the council as it had done its sums wrong and should never have bid for the money in the first place.
The money was offered by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles as an incentive to keep weekly bin collections.
The Labour-run council had been planning to use £7.5m on buying new wheelie bins that were smaller than the current ones – in a bid to force residents to recycle more.
The cash was linked to increasing the number of recycling collections, but city officials realised the cost would be much higher than present.
The council was facing extra costs of £5m over five years, with only £2.5m left from the government once the new bins had been bought.
Liberal Democrat leader Richard Kemp said: “This will do tremendous damage to our reputation in Whitehall when we apply for other funds in future.
“This is a monumental mess, which is completely of the council’s own making. The council will be left with egg on its face.”
Liberal leader Steve Radford added: “This does not do the credibility of the council any good, they have handed Eric Pickles the ammunition that he can dine out on for weeks and months.
“The council has done its sums wrong and should never have applied for the money.”