£30 charge agreed for gar­den waste

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Front Page - BY JENNY KIRKHAM jenny.kirkham@trin­i­tymir­ror.com @PJ_Kirkham

PEO­PLE in West Lan­cashire will have to pay an an­nual £30 charge to have their gar­den waste col­lected.

It is among a num­ber of mea­sures being brought in by West Lan­cashire Bor­ough Coun­cil, after coun­cil­lors agreed sav­ings and in­creases to in­come to­talling more than £570,000 at its coun­cil meet­ing last Wed­nes­day.

The lo­cal au­thor­ity needs to save around £1.44m in its 2017/18 bud­get.

Even after ex­haust­ing all their op­tions that won’t af­fect res­i­dents there was still a large bud­get gap.

Coun­cil­lors last week voted to in­tro­duce an an­nual charge of £30 to col­lect gar­den waste from next year and charge £25 per year per bin to have an ex­tra green bin emp­tied. They also de­cided to re­move static re­cy­cling sites across the bor­ough, re­duce the time pe­riod for dis­cre­tionary coun­cil tax dis­counts on empty prop­er­ties and re­duce the car al­lowances paid to staff and coun­cil­lors for busi­ness mileage.

Mem­bers also agreed not to cease gar­den waste col­lec­tions dur­ing the win­ter, and de­ferred mak­ing de­ci­sions on a range of mat­ters in­clud­ing re­duc­tions in the num­ber of CCTV cam­eras in the low­est pri­or­ity ar­eas and in live mon­i­tor­ing in off peak pe­ri­ods, a re­view of street clean­ing work and a new ap­proach to pub­lic toi­lets pro­vi­sion.

Fol­low­ing th­ese de­ci­sions the coun­cil faces a re­main­ing bud­get gap of £390,000 in its bud­get for 2017/18. Con­sid­er­a­tion will be given over the next few months to how this gap can be closed through the bud­get process and the coun­cil will then set its fi­nal bud­get for 2017/18 at its meet­ing in Fe­bru­ary 2017.

Cllr Chris Wynn, port­fo­lio holder for fi­nance, said: “The coun­cil man­ages its bud­gets ef­fec­tively to en­sure the au­thor­ity pro­vides ex­cel­lent value for money. In pre­vi­ous years we have made sav­ings while min­imis­ing any ef­fects on ser­vices, but now th­ese op­tions have been used up. Due to con­tin­ued cuts in gov­ern­ment fund­ing we have to make tough de­ci­sions that may af­fect a num­ber of res­i­dents.”

Over the last seven years, the coun­cil has re­duced its an­nual bud­get re­quire­ment by well more than 30%.

Some of the main mea­sures were sav­ings of more than £500,000 per year made through a part­ner­ship agree­ment with Lan­cashire County Coun­cil and BT Lan­cashire Ser­vices for the de­liv­ery of rev­enues, ben­e­fits and IT ser­vices; and bud­get stream­lin­ing sav­ings of £645,000 to re­duce costs by ef­fi­cien­cies with­out af­fect­ing ser­vices.

Cuts afoot: the of­fices of West Lancs Dis­trict Coun­cil, Derby Street.

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