Green bin collection charge to be reviewed after 6,000 sign petition
Published on: 27 Jun 2014
South Gloucestershire Council’s controversial new bin tax is to be reconsidered.
Since March 31st, households have been charged £36 a year to have their green bin waste collected – a service previously included as part of council tax. Conservatives and some residents have branded the measure – voted through by a combined majority of Labour and LibDem councillors – as a ‘bin tax’. Conservative councillors are opposing the charge.
Labour say the bin charge is the lesser of two evils and that removing it will lead to cuts elsewhere.
Claims that the tax will save the authority money are being disputed by Tories because of the increased costs of administration, increased use of recycling centres, as well as people simply putting their green waste in their black bin or fly-tipping.
Recently, the council’s Stoke Gifford recycling centre had to close early because its bins were full.
Several petitions adding up to around 6,000 names were debated at the meeting of the Communities Committee, including a 4,200-name petition submitted by Kingswood MP Chris Skidmore.
Around 50 residents also emailed the committee with their views prior to the meeting.
After a three-hour debate, Labour and Lib-Dem councillors opposed the immediate scrapping of the bin tax proposed by the Conservatives, but did agree to a further report at the next council meeting in September.
Cllr Ian Adams (Con, Siston and Warmley), Conservative Lead on the Communities Committee, said: “The 6,000 recycling-minded people who took the time to sign a number of petitions against the Lib-Lab bin tax should feel encouraged that they have been listened to.”
Filton councillor Roger Hutchinson said: “The Tory proposal to scrap the charges was not backed up with consequences of doing so. Such consequences are likely to be significant both for waste and for the knock-on effect on other services. Labour proposed commissioning a report that would outline the implications. We have reluctantly accepted green bin charges are the lesser evil.”