Labour councillor fears residents will stop recycling green waste to avoid ‘garden tax’

Cllr Shafique Choudhary is against the plans

Cllr Shafique Choudhary is against the plans - Credit: Archant

A Labour councillor has fears residents will stop recycling their green waste to avoid paying for its collection when a £40 charge is introduced.

Cllr Muhammed Butt is the leader of the council

Cllr Muhammed Butt is the leader of the council - Credit: Archant

Cllr Shafique Choudhary, who represents the Barnhill ward, has spoken out against the plans by his own party after they were given the thumbs up for a second time yesterday.

Telling the Times he disagreed with the plans, he said: “People are just going to end up putting their garden waste into grey bins when no one is looking.

“It is going to create a lot of problem in the streets.”

Cllr Choudhary was one of eight Labour councillors who had called for the proposals to be investigated by the scrutiny committee last night following their approval in July.

Cllr Choudary and his party colleagues John Duffy, Janice Long, Neil Nerva, Sabina Khan, Claudia Hector, Ahmad Shahzad and Eleanor Southwood claimed ‘crucial information’ was missing when the plan was rubber-stamped.

However the scrutiny committee backed the proposals but recommended the fee is reviewed within the first year of its introduction.

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The recommendations will be discussed among the council’s cabinet members in their next meeting.

“My residents, most of whom have gardens, are totally against it, “Cllr Choudary added.

“I represent my resident so I share their concerns. They [Brent Council] should look at some other areas to save money.”

Denying speculation that the issue had caused a rift in the borough’s Labour Party, Cllr Muhammed Butt, leader of the council, added: “People are sometimes fearful of change but this is all about reassurance and explaining why the change is a positive.”

The change is currently due be rolled out in March next year.

However, those who opt out the annual charge will have their bins removed from November this year.

The council claim the change will save around £400,000 a year, but some of the savings will be used to fund an increase in the collection of other recyclables such as glass and paper from fortnightly to weekly.

Every household will also be provided with a kitchen caddie and an outdoor container to recycle food scraps which would be collected on a weekly basis free of charge.

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