Controversial garden waste charge plan in Flintshire to be looked at again

Reporter:

David Humphreys

The controversial introduction of garden waste charges has been called in by council members.

Flintshire Council's environment overview and scrutiny committee will discuss the cabinet’s decision to charge for garden waste collections after five councillors ‘called in’ the decision taken by cabinet last month.

Cllrs Mike Peers, Richard Jones, Dave Mackie, Dennis Hutchinson and Clive Carver co-signed the letter calling for December’s decision to be looked at again.

The quintet cited five reasons including incorrect alignment with Welsh Government policy and incorrect council minutes.

The plans, which were unanimously approved by Flintshire Council's leadership on December 19, will go before the scrutiny committee again on Tuesday.

During that cabinet meeting, Cllr Carolyn Thomas, Flintshire Council cabinet member for Streetscene and environment, said without the adoption of a £30 annual charge for discretionary brown bin collections, budgets in key areas such as education or social services would have to be cut.

The local authority estimates it could make almost £1 million from introducing the tariff.

Council chief executive Colin Everett said there was “no scope for efficiencies of this scope” if the proposal was not picked up.

The council’s leader, Cllr Aaron Shotton, said charges were something cabinet members had “resisted introducing for some time” and they had been “an option for a number of years”.

The hotly debated scheme was set to go live from March and based on an assumption that 40 per cent of households sign up to Flintshire Council’s revised tariffed collection scheme, up to £958,000 could be made by the authority.

It is thought £828,000 could be brought in through implementing an annual charge of £30 per brown bin of garden waste.

In their call in letter setting out their reasons for a meeting, the five councillors – three from Buckley and one from Ewloe and Hawarden respectively – said: “The proposals do not align with the Wales Government blue print for waste collection in Wales.

“Cabinet considered its approval of the proposals using unapproved and incorrect scrutiny minutes.

“The proposals do not consider the elderly and vulnerable from the proposed introduction of charging on April 1, 2018.

“Charges are unreasonable contrary to the Environment Act 1990 and when compared to other local authorities.

“In order to assess full cost recovery, the detailed cost of the garden waste collection service is unknown and was not included in the scrutiny or cabinet reports.”

During the meeting, committee members will decide whether they are happy with the plans to continue or not, or whether to refer the matter back to full council or the cabinet to amend the decision.

The call-in will be held on Tuesday at County Hall, Mold.

Email:

david.humphreys@nwn.co.uk

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  • kevinweston20

    22:10, 14 January 2018

    So if our councillors need an extra million next year; just increase the Brown bin charge to £60 and then £90!!

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  • mackiea12

    16:04, 12 January 2018

    Who says funds have to be cut from those areas???? It's just a ploy to make people pay it! Cut it from the executives pay packets and bonuses and expenses etc etc etc!

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