£35 brown bin charge ap­proved

Rossendale Free Press - - News -

COUN­CIL­LORS have voted for a new green waste charge from next year.

A £35 charge for fort­nightly brown bin col­lec­tion was ap­proved at a meet­ing of Rossendale’s full coun­cil.

How­ever, it was re­vealed that even after charg­ing a fee for the re­moval of green waste, the coun­cil is still likely to lose money by pro­vid­ing the ser­vice.

The pro­pos­als were drawn up by a cross-party work­ing group of both Labour and Con­ser­va­tive coun­cil­lors. How­ever, sev­eral Tories, in­clud­ing act­ing leader Coun Annabel Ship­ley, re­fused to sup­port the charge, which will be in­tro­duced from March 2018. An amend­ment ex­empt­ing com­mu­nity groups and char­i­ties was unan­i­mously sup­ported.

Coun Chris­tine Lamb said: “Be­tween 2010 and 2020 this coun­cil will have lost £27 mil­lion from cen­tral gov­ern­ment. There will be more dif­fi­cult de­ci­sions hav­ing to be made that will af­fect our res­i­dents.

“Col­lect­ing gar­den waste is not a statu­tory duty, we don’t have to do it, it’s an ex­tra ser­vice that we pro­vide. We wouldn’t have cho­sen to do this in an ideal world but un­for­tu­nately we thought this was the best op­tion in the cir­cum­stances. We de­cided monthly col­lec­tion was un­ac­cept­able.”

Labour fi­nance spokesman, Coun An­drew Walm­s­ley added: “Most of the au­thor­i­ties in Lan­cashire al­ready charge or in­tend to do so, and the charge of £35 per bin is around the Lan­cashire av­er­age. To break even at this level we need around 50 per cent take up.

“The av­er­age take up in Lan­cashire is around 30, 40 per cent. Even if we get the av­er­age we won’t break even.”

The coun­cil says that they need to charge for green waste be­cause pay­ments worth £551,720 to help with waste col­lec­tion are be­ing with­drawn by Lan­cashire County Coun­cil (LCC) as of next year.

Coun Jackie Oakes, cab­i­net mem­ber for op­er­a­tional ser­vices, said: “We will prob­a­bly raise £100,000. So how­ever you look at it there is a gap of £400,000.

“We will be re­view­ing it in 12 months, if we are not rais­ing the money we need to raise we will have to look at the pric­ing again.

“There is al­ways the op­tion for peo­ple to com­post rather use the brown bin and there is no rea­son why peo­ple can’t share a bin.”

The coun­cil has pro­vided a free green waste ser­vice since 2002 and in 2015/2016 gen­er­ated 2,500 tonnes of gar­den waste for com­post­ing.

Coun Jackie Oakes

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