Town hall bosses give green light to controversial ‘garden tax’
- Credit: Archant
Brent residents will be charged to have their green bins collected after town hall bosses rubber stamped controversial proposals.
From next March all households must pay £40 a year otherwise they will have their green bins removed.
The cost of the fortnightly collection was previously included in the council tax bill but an annual fee would be imposed for every household. Those receiving pensions credit, income support and jobseekers’ allowance will be entitled to 20 per cent off the charge.
The scheme will save the council 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.
Councillor Keith Perrin, lead member for the environment, said that the new programme will reduce the amount of household waste that is sent to landfill site –currently costing the council £7 million a year.
He continued: “The less we send to landfill as a borough the less the council has to pay in landfill taxes which ultimately are paid by all council tax payers.”
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Householders will also be supplied with a kitchen caddie and a 25-litre outdoor container to recycle food scraps –which would be collected on a weekly basis free of charge.
Council chiefs agreed to offer discounts on compost bins if residents chose to opt into the scheme, in a bid to encourage greater recycling of green waste.
However, with an increase in fly tipping by three per cent in that last quarter of the 2013/14 financial year –compared to the 2012/13 figure-, there are fears that the move will intensify the problem.
Resident Lorraine Skinner said: “I fear this new scheme will be a false economy. Rather than paying the new tax residents may send their garden waste to landfill, or even worse will fly-tip, which the council will have to pay to get cleared up.”
Critics have also lambasted the plans claiming that it is effectively a ‘garden tax.’
Ibrahim Taguri, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Brent Central, said: “While the council’s proposals are troubling, they’re certainly not surprising.
“This is what we’ve come to expect from Labour, imposing stealth taxes on hardworking residents for basic services.”
Dr Shahrar Ali, Brent Green Party spokesperson for environment and planning, claims the proposals are “ill thought out” and has a negative impact on vulnerable residents battling welfare cuts.
Claiming the new arrangements are ultimately a plus for householders, Cllr Muhammed Butt, leader of the council, said: “This is a great way of encouraging our reduce and recycle ethos.”