West Cumbrian residents must be given refunds on their council tax amid the chaos of cancelled recycling collections.

That's the message from Workington MP Sue Hayman, who is demanding answers from Allerdale council over its decision to stop half its kerbside waste collections for up to two months.

In a bid to enable contractor FCC Environment to resolve ongoing delays with domestic rubbish collections which began at the start of a new deal in April, the council has stopped collections of plastics, glass, tins and garden waste across the borough.

It says garden waste will not be collected for two months, with the halt to mixed recycling collections lasting up to as long.

Mrs Hayman said she had spoken to constituents who were concerned about the impact of the move and had sent an urgent letter to Allerdale council leader Marion Fitzgerald outlining their concerns and demanding answers.

She said: "If it's genuinely going to take as long as two months to resolve then they absolutely need to look at reimbursing people for this huge inconvenience. This is one of the key services the council has to provide. People are having to make a decision about what to do with their rubbish and how to manage it."

RELATED: Residents urged not to take plastic and tins to Workington recycling centre

RELATED: Residents call for rebates as recycling halted amid bins chaos

RELATED: Recycling collections suspended amid FCC Environment bin contract chaos

RELATED: £25m load of rubbish! More than 66,000 Allerdale council bins not emptied on time under new FCC Environment contract

In some areas, including her own village of Ullock, Mrs Hayman said existing recycling points had been removed since kerbside collections began, so residents would have to travel further to dispose of their waste, costing them money and causing inconvenience.

Residents are also concerned about the environmental health impacts of delayed collections, particularly over the summer if waste is stored without being thoroughly washed.

Mrs Hayman said: "People are extremely concerned about it. This isn't just a small glitch. To suspend collections for two months is a long time."

But Allerdale council said refunds would not be given. A spokesperson said: "A number of residents have questioned whether they are entitled to a refund of council tax if their bins have not been collected. Unfortunately this is not possible because council tax is a local taxation that is used to fund services such as education, police, planning, waste collection etc.

"Allerdale bills on behalf of the county council, police and parishes as well as for its own share of the tax. The average band D charge for a property in Allerdale is £172.99 per year.

"It is important to state that as a form of taxation the payment of council tax is not contingent on the regular delivery of services and therefore residents cannot withhold payment in respect of the council tax they are liable for. We would like to remind residents of the importance of keeping payments up to date to avoid the legal consequences of non-payment.

"The portion of the council tax which goes towards Allerdale services is less than 10 per cent of the total bill. For an average band D property this is £172.99 a year, or about £3.33 a week. This is the lowest for any district council in Cumbria and helps cover the cost of the wealth of services we provide, not just waste collection."