Green credits axe left £346,000 hole to fill

Finance chiefs at the Tory-run Harborough Council were left with a further budget headache thanks to their Conservative colleagues at County Hall .

Leicestershire County Council confirmed last week that it was scrapping “green credits” it pays to district and borough councils across the county, leaving a £346,000 hole in the budget for Harborough District Council to plug.

A county council spokesman said: “The Government created recycling credits as a way to encourage and support more household waste to be recycled.

“Over time, ensuring that waste does not to go landfill has become part of and parcel of how we, as responsible councils, conduct ourselves.

“We are facing an unprecedented financial challenge.

“As part of meeting this, we are reviewing all areas of expenditure. This includes taking a fresh look at recycling credits for green waste.

“District and borough councils will need to decide how best they can continue to provide green waste collections under the new arrangements. We will continue to provide facilities for the public to recycle their green waste at our recycling and household waste sites.”

Funding for green waste recycling credits will stop in April. Harborough Council has been receiving the green credit payments from County Hall since 2006.

The credits fell under legislation passed in the 1990 Environmental Protection Act.

County Hall anticipates that by ending the credits, it will make a saving of £1,610,000 over from 2015-18.

Cllr Phil King, finance portfolio holder at Harborough Council, said: “We understand the county council is facing unprecedented challenges, and despite the loss of green waste subsidy, and a reduced annual settlement from Government, the district council has worked hard to propose a balanced budget.

“We will continue to work with communities to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill to maintain our position as one of the best recycling authorities in Leicestershire.”