NOTE: This content is old - Published: Friday, Oct 13th, 2017.
Households could be forced to pay for garden waste collections as Flintshire County Council battles against huge cuts to its budget.
Fees for collecting garden waste bins would come in addition to annual council tax bills in a bid to plug the council’s budget black hole.
It’s the local authority’s statutory duty to collect household waste from properties within the county but it doesn’t have to provide a ‘free’ garden waste collection service.
The council expressed ‘grave concern’ earlier this week following the Welsh Government decision to slice a further £1.6m from the funding the authority is set to receive next financial year.
With Flintshire facing up to an even greater funding gap, officers need to find ‘innovative ways’ of bridging the £13.3m shortfall in 2018.
With Education and Social Service budgets largely ring-fenced for now, it falls on other departments to find savings within their budgets and £3m of ‘service efficiencies’ have already been earmarked for next year.
Councillors sitting on the Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee will study a report next week on how the council can save money within the Streetscene & Transportation and Planning & Environment departments.
In a report published ahead of the meeting, charging Flintshire residents for garden waste collections has been identified as one way the council can save money with a projected figure of £800,000 next year.
No recommendations or adoption of the proposal will be agreed during next Tuesday’s meeting however it is expected plans will progressed through to the next stages.
Neighbouring Denbighshire Council has already introduced an additional cost for garden waste collection, they charge £24 per year for a similar size bin to Flintshire’s brown 140 ltr garden waste bins.
Figures published in 2016 show the number of local authorities charging for garden waste collection has doubled in just five years, 155 councils in England 155, and just 4 in Wales charged extra for garden waste to be collected from houses.
Councillors will discuss the move on Tuesday, 17th October – full report: Financial Forecast and Stage One of the Budget 2018/19