Posted: Mon 8th Jul 2019

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

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Monday, Jul 8th, 2019

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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