News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

Garden waste collection charge looks set to go up by £5 a year

Charges for garden waste collections in Flintshire look set to be increased by up to £5 a year in order to boost the local authority’s income.

Residents currently have to pay an annual fee of £30 to have their brown bins collected after Flintshire Council stopped offering the service for free in April 2018.

Despite opposition, more than 40 per cent of householders in the county signed up in the first 12 months, generating almost £1m for the cash-strapped authority’s coffers.

A report presented to councillors earlier this year had recommended freezing the price of the service for 2019.

However, a newly published document shows the price could now be hiked to as much as £35 per year from the start of October.

Steve Jones, chief officer for Streetscene and transport, said the changes could net the authority an extra £130,000.

In the report, he said: “Whilst further work is required to calculate income projections for all the proposed fee/charge increases from 1st October 2019, some indicative figures have been calculated, for reference.

“It is proposed to raise the charge for the garden waste collection service by between £2 and £5 per season, depending on the chosen payment method and the date the payment is received by the council.

“This reflects the rising cost of delivering the service and will increase the projected income levels by between £70,000 and £130,000 per year.”

Mr Jones said residents would see the payment reduced to £32 if they opt to sign up online because of the lower registration costs.

Those who join the scheme later in the season or wish to pay over
the phone or face-to-face would be charged the full price of £35.

He added that the amount of income generated would depend on how many people choose to register online.

In January, Wrexham Council decided not to bring in similar fees following feedback received during a consultation exercise.

Other fees set to be increased in Flintshire include pest control, with the charge for getting rid of unwanted creatures such as fleas earmarked for a rise of £2, from £54 to £56 a year.

Mr Jones said the council was looking to recover the full cost of providing services where possible as it faces a funding gap of £13.3m for the 2020/21 financial year.

He said: “In late 2017, the cabinet adopted an income generation policy which set the rationale for charging and proposed an annual review of all fees and charges.

“The income generation policy, including fees and charges and the new income streams identified in this report, forms part of the medium term financial strategy.

“The outcome of the annual review of fees and charges is set out in the appendix.

“For each charge, the extent to which full cost recovery is being met – one of the objectives of the policy where desirable and achievable – is shown.”

The revised list of charges will be considered by members of the council’s corporate resource scrutiny committee at a meeting at County Hall in Mold on Thursday 

By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).

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