The suspension of garden waste collections is coming to an end in South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse – but the councils have come under fire over a 'lack of communication'.

An extraordinary council meeting was held to discuss the issue of the suspension.

But before it began, the district councils announced they would restart the collections as soon as next week.

The authorities said that the service was paused to ensure rubbish, recycling and food waste collections were not affected during the ongoing national shortage of HGV drivers.

In the council meeting, communication with residents was criticised as it was said to be reliant on social media and the Vale’s website.

Residents said they felt that overflowing bins and smelly waste could have been avoided if more notice was given when the collections were suspended in August.

Les Buck said: "It is very disappointing. You could have come to a conclusion a long time ago to go on to a four-week bin cycle and I do not know why it has taken so long."

Shrivenham resident John Lloyd said his bins were already full when the brown bin collection was suspended.

He said: "The situation could have been avoided if more notice was given. It would have avoided smelly, rotting waste."

Leader of Vale of White Horse District Council Emily Smith apologised for the timeliness of the councils' communications.

The councils are now sending out more than 50,000 letters and emails this week to their garden waste customers explaining the situation in more detail, along with a copy of the temporary timetable.

Councillor Catherine Webber, said: “We appreciate and understand that this hasn’t been the service our customers have come to expect, and we do apologise sincerely for the disruption, but we’re also happy that suspending garden waste collections has prevented disruption to the other household waste collections – something with which councils elsewhere are struggling."

The driver shortage is still an issue for waste contractor Biffa but the council has agreed a temporary arrangement for garden waste collections that requires fewer drivers, which means the firm can resume the service sooner.

To make up for the disruption, the council will extend customers’ current subscription to the service by three months.

The temporary arrangement will see the fortnightly collections become four-weekly.