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Councillors don’t expect new brown bin charge to spark increase in Lichfield and Burntwood fly-tipping

A councillor says he doesn’t expect a new charge on brown bin collections to spark an increase in fly-tipping across Lichfield and Burntwood.

Households wanting to have garden waste picked up will need to pay £36 a year from 2018 after proposals were approved by Lichfield District Council last month.

The local authority says a funding gap means difficult decisions have to be made.

However, the move has drawn criticism, with Labour branding the move “outrageous”.

Cllr Iain Eadie

Cllr Iain Eadie

But Cllr Iain Eadie, Cabinet member for operational services, leisure and waste, told a meeting of the council that fly-tipping would not necessarily rise as a result of the charges.

“Other authorities that have introduced charges have seen no increase in the level of fly-tipping as a result,” he said.

“It’s important that we also distinguish between residents dumping rubbish and commercial operators dumping truckloads of waste in a bid to avoid charges.”

But Labour’s Cllr Eric Drinkwater said his Conservative counterparts must be prepared to face the consequences if the decision proves to be the wrong one.

“Lichfield district is a beautiful area,” he said. “I would hate to think the decision will lead to greater fly-tipping.

“If it does then I hope the decision pricks the conscience of those who have supported it.”

Cllr Diane Evans, Labour representative for Boney Hay, said residents would not be convinced by the move.

Cllr Diane Evans

Cllr Diane Evans

“The public has not reacted well to the so-called bin tax,” she said. “There is also a fear that it may lead to increased fly-tipping which is costly to clean up.”

There has also been criticism of the decision to ‘call-in’ the decision for additional scrutiny just before the recent Staffordshire County Council elections, with Labour group leader Cllr Sue Woodward branding the move as “cynical”.

Cllr Woodward added: “Frankly, I was astounded at the decision to call this in – there had already been two reports and members had been given the opportunity to speak out if they were concerned.

“Five of those Conservative members who called the decision in then decided to back it.

“Should such a situation arise in future, members should understand when a call-in is appropriate.”

But Cllr Alan White, Conservative representative for Whittington and Streethay, said councillors were right to examine the charging proposal further.

“As elected councillors we don’t take decisions lightly,” he said. “You care for the people you represent.

“That’s why this was called in for a second look. It shows how important the decision was.”

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8 Comments

  1. The Teach

    25th May, 2017 at 10:25 am

    Yet another regressive Tory tax. Garden waste will be put into black bins and go to landfill. Another step back for the environment.

  2. Adam Elsdon

    25th May, 2017 at 10:36 am

    “As elected councillors we don’t take decisions lightly,” he said. “You care for the people you represent”.

    By imposing an additional tax on a service they will make approximately £300,000 a year from, I bet they thought long and hard on that one.

    Conservatives, the caring party of low taxation.

  3. Darryl

    25th May, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    And if it does create a rise in fly tipping can we expect Cllr Eadie’s resignation? Does he stand by his convictions?

  4. Toast

    25th May, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    Philip John has already costed this and it’s clear that LDC stand to make a profit from this new less-than-stealthy tax. Disgusting, and I won’t be paying it.

  5. John Griffin

    25th May, 2017 at 6:50 pm

    There won’t be an increase in measurable flytipping as garden waste is not normally noticeable when dumped in a hedgerow, unlike building rubble or sofas. Simply a way of circumventing the 5% (referendum) trigger on Council Tax – raise tax by 4.9% and later impose an ancillary charge. Robbery.

  6. Concerned Citizen

    25th May, 2017 at 10:52 pm

    Which Authorities have not noticed an increase in fly-tipping, Councillor Eadie? Your comments lack detail. Can we have chapter and verse on those councils please? Also, which councils have seen an increase in fly-tipping?

    Let’s have less bluff and more facts please. I bet there is silence from Councillor Eadie because he cannot justify his comments.

  7. Nick

    26th May, 2017 at 8:54 am

    Councillor Eadie & co do not need to back up their claims with facts, or justify their policies more than superficially; the Tories can afford to treat us with contempt, safe in the knowledge that people around here will blithely vote Conservative however poor the councillors’ performance.

  8. Adam Elsdon

    31st May, 2017 at 8:43 am

    In Birmingham, free bulky waste collections for residents were scrapped in 2014. Instead, householders are charged £25 for refuse collectors to take away large items.

    The decision was part of measures designed to cut about 10% from the city council’s £75m budget for clean, safe and green services.

    Tory council leader Robert Alden, who is also the Conservative candidate in the general election, said: “Fly-tip waste has gone up exponentially. It’s a false economy because going out ad-hoc clearing fly-tip waste is more expensive than collecting it.”

    Oh dear, this decision by LDC looks like it will come back to bite them.

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/may/30/erdington-this-election-could-be-lost-on-litter?