Page last updated at 12:33 GMT, Tuesday, 6 May 2008 13:33 UK

'No decision' on bin tax future

Gordon Brown
Scrapping the 'bin tax' had been seen as a potential 'policy adjustment'

No final decision has been made about whether to allow local councils to introduce so-called "bin taxes" across the country, Downing Street has said.

It had been reported Prime Minister Gordon Brown would scrap the planned rubbish charges as part of a relaunch after poor local election results.

No 10 said legislation had been passed to help a handful of councils try out pilot "recycling initiatives".

A decision on wider roll-outs would not be made until the pilots were assessed.

Policy adjustment?

The prime minister's official spokesman said: "We will have to evaluate the impact of the pilots before making a final decision.

"We are not forcing local authorities to participate in the pilots. It's for local authorities to volunteer and the nature of the incentives they want to introduce."

Earlier media reports suggested Mr Brown would ditch the scheme as part of a series of policy adjustments after Labour's disastrous showing in the local elections in England and Wales.

The huge losses on Thursday led to heavy criticism of the prime minister's leadership by backbenchers.

Defeat

But ministers rallied round, insisting Mr Brown was the right person to lead them to the next general election.

The scheme, which would be run by local councils, has already been scaled back.

Labour's poor local election results saw their projected share of the national vote drop to 24%, pushing them into third place behind the Lib Dems.

They were also defeated in London, where Conservative Boris Johnson beat Ken Livingstone in the mayoral race.

On Sunday, Mr Brown said Labour would recover after its worst local election results in 40 years, adding that voters were worried about rising petrol and food prices and utility bills.



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THE ELECTION RESULTS
COUNCIL RESULTS
  Councillors Councils
Party +/- Total +/- Total
CON 257 3155 12 65
LAB -334 2365 -9 18
LD 33 1804 1 12
PC 31 205 -1 0
OTH 10 898 0 0
NOC - - -3 64
159 of 159 councils declared.

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London Mayoral results
Overall results
Name Party Votes
Johnson CON 1,168,738
Livingstone LAB 1,028,966
Paddick LD 878,097
Berry GRN 409,101

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London Assembly Results
Overall results
Party Constit' Top-up Total seats
CON 8 3 11
LAB 6 2 8
LD 0 3 3
GRN 0 2 2
BNP 0 1 1

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