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Cabinet votes to keep Lichfield and Burntwood brown bin charge at £36 a year

The brown bin charge in Lichfield and Burntwood is set to stay at £36 a year.

Lichfield District Council’s Cabinet has backed a recommendation that the controversial garden waste collection fee remains in place for the coming year.

The charge was introduced at the start of the year and in April, the local authority revealed that 44% of homes had already signed up to the scheme.

The council’s figures now reveal that more than 39,000 subscriptions had been purchased – above the target of 33,750.

A report to a meeting of the Cabinet last week said that the figure would keep the fee below the national average for similar services, which currently stands at £41.20.

“The decision to introduce the charge was made because of the severe financial pressure being imposed on local councils by government funding cuts as part of its strategy to balance the large deficit in the national revenue budget,” the report said.

“In addition to facing a cut in the revenue support grant, Staffordshire County Council gave notice that they needed to cut the amount of Recycling Credit paid to district councils for the diversion of garden waste from landfill in order to help alleviate their own financial pressures.

“As local authorities are not legally obliged to collect garden waste, offering residents a subscription service was deemed to be the only option to safeguard its future provision.”

The report added that increasing the charges could see a drop in the numbers signing up.

“Whilst the financial outlook remains extremely challenging, the county council has postponed the date it intends to start cutting the Recycling Credit until 2019/20 which has reduced the pressure on districts to raise the subscription rate in 2019.

“In addition the first year of the service has been extremely
successful. There is also strong evidence from other authorities which
charge, that the higher the charge the lower the uptake so an increase could be self-defeating.”

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

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