The opposition Conservative Group at Cotswold District Council has raised concerns that the planned large scale increases in waste collection charges and fees could result in higher rates of fly-tipping.
The budget proposals approved the ruling Lib Dem administration at the February 2021 CDC budget meeting, saw garden waste licences (known locally as green bin charges) increase by 33% from £30 to £40 per annum.
The bulky waste collection service has also gone up by 79%. It will now cost £25 (from £14) for the collection of up to three items. The charge for additional items will remain at £5 per item with an upper limit of 6 items. This popular service is used by residents who want large items collected from their homes and disposed of by a trustworthy and legitimate waste collector.
A charge of £5 per item will also be charged for the delivery and replacement of waste bins and recycling containers. This previously free service is expected to deliver the Lib Dem administration additional income of around £60,000 per year.
In a change of policy direction for CDC, the Liberal Democrat administration will now charge commercial rates for the discretionary services such as parking, planning and waste collection. This contrasts with the Conservative administration who believed in subsidising some discretionary services.
The inflation-busting price increases to waste collection services have caused alarm to opposition Conservative councillors who are concerned about the timing of the price hikes and have also suggested they could result in more fly-tipping.
Cllr Richard Morgan, Leader of the Opposition Conservative Group said,
“Let’s be clear, there is absolutely no excuse or justification for fly-tipping at any time! If the cost to dispose of waste via council-run services is prohibitively expensive, residents will be more likely to use private, cheaper unlicenced providers to dispose of their waste unlawfully."
"The timing of these price hikes is rotten. Coronavirus is an economic crisis as well as a health crisis. Many of our residents are struggling with the financial impacts of this pandemic. To assume that residents are going to be willing and able to pay an extra 33% for green bin collections and 79% more for bulky waste collections is both heartless and out of touch with reality.”