Enfield’s Labour administration was told to “back off our bins” as Tory councillors claimed residents wanted to keep weekly collections.

Conservatives warned switching collections to once every fortnight could worsen fly-tipping and lead to dirty streets – particularly in the more built-up east of the borough.

The Conservative group says weekly black and blue bin rounds should continue, while the council should take additional steps to boost recycling rates.

But Labour councillors claimed the Government’s decision to slash funding for key services meant they had to look for new ways of saving cash.

The row at Wednesday’s full council meeting followed a consultation in which the council asked members of the public for their views on seven proposals for a shake-up of the refuse service.

Conservative councillor Lindsay Rawlings told the meeting three of the options on the public consultation were not valid as they did not comply with the Mayor of London’s Environment Strategy.

She added that the Tories’ recent success in the Bush Hill Park by-election showed public opinion was behind them when it came to bins.

Cllr Rawlings said: “Having lived in Edmonton for 27 years until recently, I know incidents of dumped black sacks are higher in the east of the borough.

“I do not understand how any change in the timing of bin collections will not make the situation worse.

“I have recently seen a large number of adverts for council pest control services, and I do have to ask if they are linked to any changes that might take place.”

But council leader Cllr Nesil Caliskan warned that failing to save money on bin rounds could mean making cuts elsewhere, meaning less support for vulnerable groups such as elderly people and the homeless.

She said: “We have three Labour MPs in Enfield. Enfield residents have not voted for any of the cuts the Tories are forcing us to make.

“The cost of delivering waste services is due to increase. If we maintained the current service provision, the council would need to fund the services by an additional £1.5 million.

“The opposition members know this, so presumably they would fund it from reserves, or increase council tax, or cut funding from a different department.”

Cllr Caliskan added that the government had pulled the plug on an £18 million grant to the council that would have helped to maintain weekly collections.

Cllr James Hockney, who won the Bush Hill Park by-election with an increased majority for the Conservatives, said the bins had been a major issue during the campaign.

He said: “This council chamber has the opportunity today to send a clear message to the executive in four simple words – back off our bins.”

But Cllr Mary Maguire, cabinet member for finance and procurement, said: “Up and down the country, councils are having to make the same choices.

“There are Tory councils doing exactly what the opposition is telling us not to do. It is a fact of the harsh reality of funding cuts from this austerity-obsessed, Brexit-bungling government.”

Labour members voted against the Conservatives’ proposals but pledged to take on board all responses to the bin consultation before reaching a decision on the waste service’s future.