For the first time in 17 years an extraordinary council meeting was held in Merton.

And the topic of bins saw heated debate across the council chamber.

The meeting was called by the council’s Conservative opposition to ‘debate issues relating to the to the failure of the refuse and recycling arrangements provided by Veolia’.

Councillors and around 15 interested members of the public stuck around for the meeting which went on late into Wednesday night (February 6) and took place after a full council meeting.

RELATED: Veolia's missed bin collection numbers in Merton revealed

A motion put before the councillors included a demand to sack Veolia, the contractor, at the earliest break clause.

Councillors from the party read out emails from residents saying they had not had their rubbish collected in more than a month.

A report in September showed that on average, the company was failing to collect nearly 1,250 bins every month.

But Merton’s Liberal Democrat party did not think that waiting until a break clause was good enough and proposed an immediate review of the services provided by Veolia.

The meeting however was slammed by deputy leader of the council, Cllr Mark Allison, who described as an ‘extraordinary misuse of council resources’.

He added: “To hold this meeting as a hustings for the next leader of the conservative party is an extraordinary waste of everybody’s time.

RELATED: Council to debate 'failure of Veolia' at extraordinary meeting

“This is the first extraordinary meeting, the last one 17 years ago was on a cross party basis and essential for the running of the council.”

Introducing the topic, Cllr Nick McLean, accused the cabinet member for street cleanliness, Cllr Mike Brunt, of ‘acting like an ostrich’ with his head in the sand.

Cllr McLean added: “Veolia has become the number one fly tipping culprit in the borough.”

And Cllr Paul Kohler said the inboxes of councillors across the board have been full of complaints about rubbish collection.

“There are clear problems and we’ve heard that from many of our residents, day in, day out,” said Cllr Kohler.

“I don’t want to enter into the yahoo politics of the Tories.

“We know there are huge cuts to council funding – What we need to do is work with Veolia and improve things.”

But in the end the ruling Labour party’s own amendment to the motion was voted through.

It included ‘continuing to hold Veolia to account’ it was voted through with 33 for, 23 against and three councillors abstaining.