Mon, 22 Oct 2018
WEST Berkshire Council has been accused of inadequately informing residents of a cheaper option to have their garden waste recycled.
On September 3, the council introduced an optional £50 charge to collect green bins in a bid to plug a gap in government funding.
So far, more than 25,000 households have subscribed to the service.
However, a £25 charge is included in the terms and conditions if residents opt for a part-year subscription.
Deputy opposition leader Alan Macron (Lib Dem, Theale) claims the lesser charge was insufficiently publicised and has submitted a formal complaint to the local authority’s trading standards department.
He says the information was not published in the letter to residents, on the council’s main ‘Garden Waste Collection’ web page nor on the Frequently Asked Questions page.
Those who subscribe between March 1, 2019, and June 30, 2019, can pay a £25 service charge, with a £47 charge for each extra bin.
Mr Macro has criticised the efforts the council made to highlight the information.
His complaint reads: “I wish to make an official complaint that West Berkshire Council did not properly publicise the ability for residents to pay the garden waste collection charge for just part of a year.
“The ability to pay for part of a year was buried in the terms and conditions.
“It was not publicised in the letter to residents, on the main web page concerning the charge or even in the FAQs.
“The only explanation is that the council wanted as few people as possible to know about the partial year charge.
“I look forward to trading standards investigating this blatant omission.”
In light of submitting his complaint, Mr Macro said: “This behaviour is what I would expect of a disreputable company, not of a public body.
“Many residents only need to have their garden waste collected in the spring and summer.
“Most of these will probably have paid the full £50 subscription without realising they need to pay only half that.”