Backlash for WLDC’s proposed green bin charge

Ruff decisions: Michele Fields with dogs Jim and George. Michele is concerned that the proposed charge might be a strain on the elderly. EMN-170925-094111001

Plans to introduce a charge for garden waste collection by West Lindsey District Council have been met by outrage from residents in the Rasen area.

The plans - which include a public consultation period ending on November 19 - could see a £35 yearly charge on the collection of residents’ green bins.

The council is the last local authority in Lincolnshire still offering the service free.

But, now the council says it needs to consider all its options - including introducing a charge for the service.

The proposal has been met with a huge backlash and disbelief from people living in Market Rasen, with some saying they would refuse to pay, and others even suggesting that garden waste could be put in the black ‘general waste’ bin to avoid costs.

Writing on our Facebook post, Mandy Ward said: “We already pay for this service - council tax.

“Why should we have to pay twice?”

Others were worried about the strain the cost might be on vulnerable people if the charges were introduced.

Adrienne Fielder said the cost was ‘too much for low income families’, while Michelle Fields said: “It would be so unfair on the elderly.

“A lot of them spend all their time on their garden making it beautiful, and it would be another thing to pay on top of everything else.”

Other people were concerned by the lengths people may go to in order to avoid being charged.

Emma Gilbert said: “People will just start dumping their garden waste.”

Jamie Shearwood said: “We already have trouble with people filling our bins up, I can’t imagine this helping.”

WLDC has said that other councils who charge have not encountered this issue.

However, there were some who said West Lindsey had been ‘lucky’ to have a free service for so long

Adam Barter said: “I live in Louth but work in Rasen.

“We already have to pay in East Lindsey because it’s not a service they have to provide.

“I would just think yourselves lucky you’ve had it free for this long.”

You can take part in the consulation on WLDC’s website.

Visit www.west-lindsey.gov.uk/gardenwasteconsultation for more information.

• The new service is planned to start from April 2018.

• The cost of the new service is proposed at £35 per year per green bin. Any additional bins at the same property will incur an additional annual cost of £30 per bin.

• You will be able to sign up and pay online, or over the phone, from the end of December 2017. WLDC says it is investigating the possibility to pay by cash or cheque at post offices.

• You will be able to share your bin with a neighbour if you wish. The bin will be charged to one resident and will be collected from that property only.

• You would not need to contact WLDC to opt out - paid-for bins will be stickered. You can keep your bin, but WLDC will not empty it if you do not wish to pay.

WLDC: ‘We want to handle funding cuts as fairly as possible’

Coun Sheila Bibb, Chairman of Prosperous Communities, said: “I would like to thank the 200 people who have responded so far. I can promise we will consider all of your comments before a decision is made.

“Now that Government funding is £4.66 million per year less than in 2010, we have £119 less per household to spend than when ‘free’ garden waste collections began-and we must find another £2 million saving by 2019.

“In terms of council tax, West Lindsey keeps less than one eighth – around £200 per band D property of the £1,580 collected. The rest is paid to Lincolnshire County Council, Police and Fire.

“As a district council we have limited choices in how we cut costs and raise or save money. Big spending areas like street lighting are the responsibility of LCC.

“We are considering a small charge for green waste collection to enable it to continue.

“This would mean the customers that use the service would fund the costs. We think that is fairer than having all residents pay for the service through an increase in their Council Tax.”

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