Plan to charge for brown bin collections in Lichfield and Burntwood could move a step closer

Charges for brown bin collections could move a step closer next week as Lichfield District Council’s Cabinet discusses the proposals.

The local authority has drawn up plans to introduce a £36 charge for each garden waste bin collected from January 1, 2018.

Cllr Iain Eadie, Cabinet member for waste management at the council, had previously revealed how a funding gap meant their was “no choice but to consider making difficult decisions across the board”.

He added that factors in other areas had forced the new charges to be brought to the table.

Now a new report by Cllr Eadie to the meeting of the council’s Cabinet on April 4 says: “Against the backdrop of reduced funding to local government, the changing demographic landscape has seen an increase in the demand for adult social care.

“Local authorities, such as Staffordshire County Council who are responsible for meeting the adult social care needs of Lichfield district’s residents, have acute funding problems as a consequence and are looking to reduce spending wherever possible, so as to try and meet the rising cost of providing this care.

“Staffordshire County Council was intending to make £1.5million of savings in relation to waste by reducing the amount of recycling credit it pays to district councils for diverting waste from landfill.

“The credit helps meet the cost of collecting and disposing of waste and its reduction would have impacted directly upon the joint waste service operated as a partnership between Lichfield District Council and Tamworth Borough Council.

“While the county council has removed the planned waste saving from its current medium term financial strategy, this is anticipated to only be temporary and when it is reintroduced it will compound the problem of falling financial settlements from central to local government.”

Cllr Eadie’s report adds that a budget shortfall of around £2.3million until 2020/21 meant Lichfield District Council could not risk adding to the problem by gambling on recycling credits not being reduced.

Cllr Iain Eadie

Cllr Iain Eadie

“The funding gap indicates that as it stands, it [Lichfield District Council] cannot afford to pay for all its intended services over the next three years,” the report explains.

“Any reduction in recycling credits from Staffordshire County Council in relation to waste would exacerbate this funding shortfall, as will any negative impact from the upcoming review of how business rates are shared between the different levels of Government and the need to find additional means of funding social care.”

The new proposals would see those paying for the service online charged £36 a year while those using other methods would pay an additional £4. Those who have paid will have a sticker put on their bin showing they have subscribed, while also having their details added to an online register.

At present, only those with an additional brown bin are charged a fee of £40, which was paid by 1,174 households this year.

Cllr Eadie’s report outlines an anticipated take-up of the new subscription by around 45% of homes.

But it also admits that initial take-up of the service could be low – and insists it will not impact on jobs.

“With a proposed start date of January 1, it is anticipated that subscriptions may be lower, with additional subscriptions happening once the grass starts to grow,” Cllr Eadie adds.

“The variations in the number of customers will have to be managed very carefully so as to ensure the appropriate level of resource is allocated. On one hand we want to make sure there are enough men and trucks deployed in order to complete collections, but on the other hand we don’t want to over-resource the service.

“Redundancies are not anticipated as a result of this decision as any staff not needed to collect garden waste could be used to cover holidays and sickness, thus reducing reliance on agency staff.”

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18 Comments

  1. Toast

    30th March, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    The council can stuff their £36 fee in a suitably-coloured bin, I won’t be paying it. They can clear my grass and hedge cuttings from the nearby grass verge where I shall be ceremonially dumping them on a regular basis.

    Have fun saving money LDC, I hope you’ve planned for the increase in civilian flytipping!

  2. john

    30th March, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    so sorry but i currently pay for this service with my council tax , the council have already stuffed us with an extra rise for social care and think this is a back door to more tax. mine can go back and i will ask for a rebate on my council tax and pile my garden waste on my front garden. ( not really! i will dry it burn it and put the ashes in the normal bin)

  3. D shorthouse

    30th March, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    How can we suffer a rise in council tax and then get this excuse to hit us again for £36 to empty the brown bin, people will either fly tip or cram it all in the black bins, daft idea yet again from our wonderful councillors.

  4. Keith D

    30th March, 2017 at 8:30 pm

    How can the councillor say it will not have an effect on jobs, surely a reduced service will not require the same staff to manage it.
    Maybe the councillor proposes to transfer staff to the department that deals with fly tipping as Im sure there will be a need for more staff in that team.

  5. Darryl

    30th March, 2017 at 9:06 pm

    If £36 helps pay for adult social care, I’ve no problem with this. But, perhaps, just put it on council tax, work out what you need and put it on council tax, don’t penalise the many pensioners who enjoy their gardens and can’t possible shift the cuttings to the recycling centre.

  6. Jim

    30th March, 2017 at 10:52 pm

    Got no problem with this, also think black bins should be emptied once per month – if you recycle properly then what are you putting in your black bin?! Awaits backlash from Daily Mail readers…

  7. John

    30th March, 2017 at 11:36 pm

    Interesting , so they. Think 25% will not take up the brown bin and subsequent charge. How much will it cost to collect the bins , and where will they store them?

  8. Alan Harper

    31st March, 2017 at 9:15 am

    With the upcoming local elections, let the questions about this subject be top of each voters ask list.
    If a “dodgy” answer is forth coming then we will know who not to vote for!

  9. Adam Elsdon

    31st March, 2017 at 9:43 am

    We have a real issue here, our local Conservative majority councils standing resolutely by the demands of Conservative Central Government and following through on their orders to make massive cuts, so they don’t have to raise council taxes and look good to those voters who have little need of council services or who can afford their own private care.

    But those that do need social care, school education or something as basic as a bin emptied are suffering because of choices made by this government.
    In the last budget Hammond pulled £60 Billion out of the hat as a Brexit war chest, and only injected £2 Billion into social care just to keep it from crashing, but he is taking that from social care money earmarked for 2018/19.
    They are still steaming ahead with HS2, which is going to cost £74 Million per Kilometre to build by government figures, £56 Billion overall.

    It comes down to choice, do we want to have social responsibility and look after those in the community and ourselves through our lifetime and as we get older, or, do we carry on losing vital services, while paying to clear a “Deficit” which really should be called a “Bankers Overdraft”.

    Lichfield District Council and Staffordshire County Council wont be fighting our corner for more money from Central Government they are already planning massive cuts by 2020. It is time for a change.

  10. A decent citizen

    31st March, 2017 at 10:29 am

    This is certainly one of those issues that rile up people because we dislike being suddenly charged for things that have mostly been free for us.

    It is a shame that we (as a country/ society) have a mish-mash of governance. We have a Conservative party at national level trying to cut costs and “fix” their budgets, but yet they are taking money away from local areas without giving the local areas more power in return.

    We all know funding for local healthcare/social-care/education/ housing is vastly needed. With the national government closing their door to local authorities, it is up to local areas to find solutions.

    The comments above so the array of views in our area. We could raise council tax and make it clear to the public why it is needed, and where it is going.
    Another mentions black bins being emptied once a month, tho I do not 100% agree, I do think we recycle alot more rubbish then black/browns bins, and we should look into a new way of waste management.

    This is an issue that can also highlight the lack of real democracy in our area & country. For those of you who elected Conservatives, we knew they would be trimming the budgets, and we knew local councils would be forced to look for other incomes. Lichfield is a very blue area, with a lack of a real opposition. The Cons at lichfield might stage another show “arguing” against it whilst their partners in crime pass in anyway.

    At the end of the day, we all go to work in low-wage jobs, for long hours to earn enough money to pay our bills and taxes. We do not want to have to think about more little bills/costs being added to us. Just tax me enough to make my life easier. I’ve not used the fire service, police, or nhs in years, but I am happy to pay for them. I do use my bins weekly, and would like to maintain that as a hassle-free service.

  11. K. DIXON

    31st March, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    Why not raise the council taxes.
    Place large recycling bins strategically around the area this will get people out of their houses and enable reduced collection for recycling. Id use one if it was placed on a local car park – maybe even call into a local shop, cafe or pub on the way back!
    Our black bin probably gets put out once every 6 weeks so maybe collections for those could be reduced.
    I went to the recycling centre at Burntwood last week, the queues were out onto the road, these facilities are used – what income do the council get from this service?

    If keeping these essential services costs us more then lets pay for them via our council taxes, our councillors should be accountable, each easy for them to propose savings, maybe they should be looking at the sreas where money is been wasted.

  12. Phil

    31st March, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    Come around Swinfen and tell us what we get for our council tax bar rubbish collection.
    Literally no street lighting for a start!!
    Take my brown bin back.. i’ll stuff some in black bin.. buy a brazier, burn the rest and then empty that into black bin!!
    And altho i never would… watch out for huge increase in fly tipping garden waste.
    This is yet another “stealth” tax… double tax.. whatever you want to call it.
    Disgraceful.

  13. Another decent citizen

    31st March, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    I agree with K.Dixon. I would gladly see a tax reform to support local governments. Let’s have a decent “Community Tax” that seeks to support and develop our local areas. Cut down the Income tax/ NI as we are getting very little for it from the national government.

    Tho, maybe this is one of those times we have to walk through the fire to reach the other side? Let them bring the charge, let us fill our streets with rubbish, let the local area fall into decay then boom, we’ll revolt. Kick the buggers out and actually do right by the people

  14. Rob

    31st March, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    Shame councils don’t stick to essential services like refuse collection and highway maintenance instead of the nannying and substitute parent roles. We could then manage with fewer staff and definitely fewer councillors.

  15. Sj

    6th April, 2017 at 10:02 am

    This is a joke I recently asked for a brown bin for garden waste as I was the only flat requiring one I was told to use my blue bin which I have been doing with no problems with collection another way to grab more off people and as ever provide less

  16. Toast

    6th April, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    Wait, so we can hide our garden rubbish in the bottom of the blue bin and they’ll still collect it? Bingo!

  17. Phil Moses

    7th April, 2017 at 10:33 am

    Is it too much to ask that all councils are audited to reassure the paying public that they are a cost effective organisation.
    If we ran private enterprise in the same way as local government they would be declared bankrupt.

  18. Sj

    7th April, 2017 at 10:56 am

    I didn’t have to hide it Rob I was given permission

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