£30 charge agreed for garden waste
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.