HEREFORDSHIRE Council has confirmed that new black bins for county residents will be made in Germany, not the UK.

This follows claims from a local resident that the council has cost taxpayers £200K by looking overseas for the multi-million pound contract, - to supply 80,000 bins to householders, including in Ledbury.

But the council, which has also revealed that it was originally looking at bins from a different manufacturer, based in the UK, has declined to give figures for the procurement of the German-made bins.

Herefordshire Council communications officer, Michelle Morgan said: "The procurement exercise was undertaken via competitive tendering, ensuring the council received the bins at the cheapest possible price at the quality we required.

"The prices that were forwarded to the council are seen as commercially confidential so we are unable to disclose them. We had a distinct specification for the bins and these were not met by the supplier of the unsuitable bin."

She added: "The chosen supplier, SSI Schaefer Ltd is a British-based company located in Hampshire. None of the potential bin suppliers were based in Herefordshire, - and the bins will be manufactured in Germany.

"During the bidding process another company initially achieved preferred bidder status but upon production of their sample bins it was found that they were not produced to our specification and were not compliant with the British Standard."

Ledbury Reporter reader: John Stacks claimed: "There were offers from a number of companies, including UK companies. However, they are awarding the contract to a German company even though they are nearly £200,000 more expensive than a UK company and will produce them all abroad .

"It absolute madness that at a time when we are trying to save money and keep jobs in the UK and revive the economy we are sending this overseas at an extra cost of a quarter of a million pounds to the local taxpayer."

The contract is believed to be worth £2m.