Harborough district proposals slammed as ‘bin tax’

Green bin EMN-140331-095515001
Green bin EMN-140331-095515001

A proposal to start charging £40 a year for garden waste collection in the Harborough district has been condemned as a ‘bin tax’.

Lib Dem group leader Cllr Phil Knowles said the plan by the Conservative majority on the district council was “nothing short of a Conservative Bin Tax”.

“Before the May elections we were treated to the Conservative election gimmick of a £7 per annum cut in Council Tax” he said. “Now they are proposing to charge £40 a year to empty green bins on a part-year service.

“And if it’s £40 a year at first, who’s to say it won’t soon be £50 a year or more?”

A special meeting to set the charge for a subscription-based garden waste “green bin” service will be held by the district council on Thursday night.

The recommendation before the council is that an annual charge of £40 be set for the collection of garden waste in the Harborough district - which includes Lutterworth and Broughton Astley - from April, 2016.

The Conservatives say they were left with no choice but to charge, after a big fall in council revenues.

Councillors have said the loss of ‘recycling credits’ from the County Council, a reduced price on the sale of recycled materials, and reduced Government funding, meant it had to make difficult decisions about the future of its waste collection service.

Cllr Phil King, deputy leader of the council, said: “We are committed to getting the best value for money for our residents whilst providing a high quality service.”

Council surveys show 77 per cent of local people currently use the green bins service for most or all of the year, and 73 per cent disagreed with changes to the system.

Cllr Knowles said he now expected fly tipping to increase, meaning the charge could be a “false economy”.