by gwynethdeakins on 9 January, 2017
Redbridge Council’s Labour administration has confirmed its decision to go ahead with charges for collection of garden waste, despite calls by the Opposition parties to review it.
Lib Dem and Tory councillors ‘requisitioned’ the decision to Overview Committee for further scrutiny and tried to refer it to Council. But their effort was blocked by Labour.
Lib Dem Cllr Gwyneth Deakins pointed out that the scheme represents poor value for money, at over £3 per collection (£50 for 15 collections over the summer months) – more if you miss some collections by going on your summer holidays! (And more if you buy extra bags.) This makes it more expensive than most other Boroughs who charge for a garden waste service.
Also, Labour refused to consider any discounts for disadvantaged groups such as benefit recipients or elderly people. The scheme is clearly unfair to people who cannot afford the charge or who cannot drive to the recycling centres.
And there are many unanswered questions about the proposed scheme, such as how big and strong are the biodegradable bags? What will happen to the refuse vehicles made redundant by the ending of the present service? How will the waste collectors work out an efficient route to all the subscribers?
We remain concerned that this measure will increase pollution through extra use of cars by people taking garden waste to the tip, or fly-tipping or burning the waste.
It will reduce the Borough’s already abysmal amount of material sent for recycling by 7%.
We know the Council has to make savings, but many of Labour’s pet schemes are still being funded. In this instance they have made the wrong choice.
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