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Council challenged to justify £50 green bin collection charge

Responses from a public consultation show objections to the proposals

Fiona Tomas

Fiona Tomas

fiona.tomas@newburynews.co.uk

Contact:

01635 886639

Charge for green waste collection is 'the thin end of the wedge' say Lib Dems...

WEST Berkshire Council has been asked whether it can justify proposals to start charging residents £50 to have their green waste bins collected.

In its revenue budget for 2018/19, the local authority announced the plans to introduce an annual subscription for the fortnightly collection of garden waste.

The proposed plan would raise £900,000 for the cash-strapped council as part of its wider effort to make £5.2m of savings next year.  

But in a public consultation, in which 749 West Berkshire residents took part, nearly 85 per cent of responses (643) disagreed with the proposal.

Objections cited were that the proposed charge would not be affordable and that it would have a negative impact on poorer households and the elderly.

It was also suggested that the charge could result in greater amounts of waste being placed in black bins and concerns were raised about an expected increase in fly-tipping.

In a stage one equality impact assessment, the council argued those who are unable to pay for the service could make use of disposal services at the household waste recycling centres in Newbury and Padworth.

But respondents questioned if those with restricted mobility or limited transport could benefit from using waste management alternatives.

Charging for garden waste collections is allowed under the Controlled Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2012.

But at a meeting of West Berkshire council’s executive on Monday, opposition leader Lee Dillon (Lib Dem, Thatcham North) asked if it could be justified.

He said: “The legislation quoted stipulates what can be charged for, but there’s also a secondary piece of legislation which says that the fees have to be justifiable.

“In the consultation that went out to the public, I didn’t see any information in there which stipulated why it was £50 and not £49 or £48 or £30.

“Legislation requires you to be able to justify the need for the cost.

“Are you confident that you are able to justify why it’s set at the level of £50?”

In order to continue to receive fortnightly garden waste collections, West Berkshire residents would have to subscribe to the new scheme online.

But Mr Dillon urged the council to explore other ways of making residents pay for the proposed scheme, to which the council’s executive member for culture and environment, Dominic Boeck (Con, Aldermaston) said it would be considered. 

Mr Dillon claimed some older residents would not be comfortable buying into a recycling scheme if the only method to do so was through online payments.  

Considering other options to pay, the Lib Dem councillor suggested, could “mitigate the harm” should the new collection charge come into effect on its scheduled date, July 1 2018.

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Article comments

  • hgv1driver

    hgv1driver

    08/03/2018 - 07:07

    I am not paying for the green bin i do not have a tree or even any grass in my garden and the few leaves i do get from next door they can have back !!! The council can come and get my bin

    Reply

  • Disabled_Newbury

    28/02/2018 - 14:02

    As a long term Newbury resident I am appalled that we were not notified in writing of this proposed change, I just happened to be on this website today, and had no idea this was going on, none of m family knows about this. If we had been notified in writing we would have responded with our objections. Especially as there are no proposals to bring back the weekly rubbish collections if they propose to remove the option of the biweekly green collections, even though we were promised that the change from weekly rubbish to biweekly rubbish and alternate green collections would have no impact. I think you would find that the objections to this would have been in far greater numbers had the residents been notified in writing. I can only assume, as in hitchhikers guide to Galaxy, that Newbury council is taking the Vogon approach to notifying residents of changes by posting a notice on Alpha Centauri?

    Reply

  • Disabled_Newbury

    28/02/2018 - 14:02

    As a long term Newbury resident I am appalled that we were not notified in writing of this proposed change, I just happened to be on this website trying to find out if there were any changes to the market tomorrow (weather) as calling the Town council the had no idea. If we had been notified in writing we would have responded with our objections. Especially as there are no proposals to bring back the weekly rubbish collections if they propose to remove the option of the biweekly green collections, even though we were promised that the change from weekly rubbish to biweekly rubbish and alternate green collections would have no impact. I think you would find that the objections to this would have been in far greater numbers had the residents been notified in writing. I can only assume, as in hitchhikers guide to Galaxy, that Newbury council is taking the Vogon approach to notifying residents of changes by posting a notice on a moon in the next Galaxy???

    Reply

  • Ihavenonickname

    28/02/2018 - 11:11

    So, yet another money making scam by the Tory council starved of funds by its Tory Government. Well, for me, it will mean putting much of the green waste that I can't compost myself back into the black bin thus increasing the landfill tax WBC will have to pay. As for my green bin, I'll use it as a water butt and fit a drain tap in it. Not a penny more you money grabbing B*stards! As for your estimated £900,000 haul from this scam, what % take up is this based upon and how much more have you allocated to landfill tax you introduced the green bin scheme to reduce? You're little better than the Indian Call Centre phone Scammers. "I'm ringing about your computer"!

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