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People in Lichfield and Burntwood could be charged extra to have their brown bins collected

People in Lichfield and Burntwood could soon have to pay extra to have their garden waste collected.

Lichfield District Council is due to debate proposals to introduce charges from January 2018.

The move would see residents asked to pay a minimum of £36 a year to have their brown bins collected – meaning around £1.40 each time their waste is collected.

Cllr Iain Eadie

Cllr Iain Eadie

Councillor Iain Eadie, Cabinet member for waste management at Lichfield District Council, explains: “Charging for our garden waste service is not a decision councillors will take lightly.

“However, vast reductions in government funding and other factors that mean Lichfield District Council is facing a £626,000 funding gap in 2018/19 and a further £2million funding gap in 2019/20 and more in future years, mean we have no choice but to consider making difficult decisions across the board.

“When coupled with a possible reduction in the recycling credits we receive from Staffordshire County Council that help to underpin our recycling service, we must seriously consider these proposals.

“Providing a garden waste service is not something we have to do, and one alternative we have looked at is stopping the service completely, which has been done by some councils across the country. Such a move would see residents having to take their own garden waste to the tip, employing private waste services, at a likely higher cost than our proposed annual charge, or composting at home.

We know that we have lots of passionate gardeners across Lichfield District and we want to be able to continue to offer them a garden waste collection service, which is why we are now considering maintaining the service on a chargeable basis, rather than withdrawing it.”

The proposals – which would also affect homes in Tamworth – will be discussed at a scrutiny committee meeting on March 8.

If both Lichfield District Council and Tamworth Borough Council both approve the move, free collections would end on January 1 next year, with residents only having their bins dealt with if they have paid up for the fortnightly collection in advance.

Cllr Eadie added: “If the proposals are approved, and residents don’t want to or can’t afford the annual charge, composting at home is a great alternative that is low cost and also great for the environment and your garden.

“We are currently offering subsidised composting bins through a partnership with Recycle for Staffordshire & Stoke. Find out more at www.getcomposting.com.”

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9 Comments

  1. Darryl

    28th February, 2017 at 4:05 pm

    All these cut backs have seen a fantastic reductions in my income tax, the VAT I’m charged, the Council Tax I pay, across the board, it’s been great.

    Oh no wait, nothing has gone down, in fact it has gone up.

    My mistake.

  2. Agitatorofpeople

    28th February, 2017 at 6:02 pm

    Makes you wonder what they are doing with all those “savings” doesn’t it.

    As for charges on waste disposal, they must be keen on getting out to clear up “composting fly tipping mess.

    Maybe Councillor Eadie and the rest of the majority Conservative councillors should grow a spine and start kicking back at the “funding gap” (they usually call it “savings”, obviously didn’t get that memo) and start harrassing Westminster, what works for Surrey Council eh?

  3. Rob

    28th February, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    I can’t see anything wrong with the principle of charging extra for non-statutory services. If you use it, pay for it.

  4. Councillor Iain Eadie

    28th February, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    The previous Labour, Coalition and current Government all spent, or spend, money beyond what they had / have coming in. It is acknowledged this is not sustainable and public spending needs to equal public finance. Whilst the political parties may differ on how to achieve this, all would make reductions to public spending. Lichfield District Council (LDC) now spends nearly 20% less on services than it did 5 years ago. LDC’s spending plan for the next 3 years – even assuming Council Tax goes up by £5 each year and using up all of the Council’s available savings and reserves – shows that if LDC carries on with its services as now, it has to find £2.7 million. LDC cannot therefore afford to keep spending as it does just now. Councillors would welcome feedback from residents on what ideas they feel could help reduce the council expenditure, or, generate additional income to avoid changing the services we deliver. Central Government is not giving more money to councils, rather just moving it towards those which provide social care.

  5. Simon Partridge

    1st March, 2017 at 9:53 am

    Councillor Eadie is mistaken when he says that all parties would make reductions to public spending. The Green Party would increase public expenditure and would do so with a fairer system of taxation which shifts the burden onto those better able to afford it, in particular the top 1% of earners.

    The charges proposed by LDC and those already imposed by the County Council at recycling centres are, by their very nature, unfair and have a disproportionately high impact on low-income households.

    The councillor and his Conservative colleagues may be congratulating themselves on finding yet another “creative” way of painting over the ever-widening cracks caused by the government’s so-called austerity measures, but he knows that the cracks will continue to grow to the point where no amount of imaginative budget tweaking will hide them. The truth is that as long as he continues to support, campaign and vote for Conservative policies Councillor Eadie is part of the problem, not the solution.

  6. Agitatorofpeople

    1st March, 2017 at 11:24 am

    Your Conservative party has been “in” government since May 2010, and in that time it has brought public services to it’s knees with it’s “austerity” measures, it has become very apparent how self-interested voters, politicians, and bureaucrats actually operate, rather than how they should operate. I have absolutely no doubt that there were elements of waste spending that needed to be cut, but, it comes down to choices made by your party in government, HS2 costing £78.5M per Kilometre or £56 Billion overall is just one of those choices that immediately springs to mind.
    Central Government is not giving more money to councils through choice, that and Conservative party ideology, you are a Conservative, you could be part of the change that convinces government that what they are doing has actually gone to far, it’s no longer just a numbers game but people.
    So eventually it comes down to bins, people notice stuff like that, rubbish on the streets, vermin, fly tipping and start questioning what the local Conservative councillors are doing about it?

    For your info Birmingham Council brought in a charge of £35 for the very same service, the first year (2015) resulted in chaos and fly tipping and non collected rubbish in the streets, with 341,000 homes out of 400,000 so far not signing up for the collections, nothing was mentioned by the council of clean up costs for the dumped waste.

    So what are you going to do Councillor Eadie? recommend another cut to a vital service or sell off another asset to give the public the appearance that everything is awesome, or maybe a local referendum on raising council tax to cover the government funding shortfall, or how about going along and giving Theresa May the news that it isn’t working?

  7. Toast

    1st March, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    Well that’s one way around triggering a local referendum for increasing Council Tax beyond the threshold.

  8. Phil

    2nd March, 2017 at 9:34 am

    From the report councillors will consider next week:

    “The introduction of a chargeable garden waste could raise an additional £333,379 per annum for the authority.”

    The council are proposing, then, to convert a public service into a profitable product?

  9. Toast

    2nd March, 2017 at 9:43 am

    For those that haven’t read it yet, this situation is brilliantly digested by Phil:
    https://medium.com/@something_phil/cowardice-in-lichfield-870e2aed5cac#.i33nj8155