Posted by: westlancashirerecord | June 14, 2017

Cllr O’Toole On The Dreaded Green Bin Charge

If you look at the local Conservative Party website you’ll see it has a new profile picture  which may try to persuade you that everything in its garden is beautiful. It, and the website, is now “Promoted by Cllr David Westley on behalf of West Lancashire Conservatives, both at 72C New Court Way, Ormskirk, L39 2YT”. He’s Leader and Association Chairman as they continue their drift into oblivion.

But gardens, beautiful or not, produce green waste. Cllr O’Toole recently went on the record  and told the Aughton Parish Council “As always there is some confusion over the responsibilities between LCC and WLBC. I just want to make it clear that LCC is not responsible for the introduction of the dreaded green bin charge. A punitive selected form of extra taxation which hits at areas like Aughton somewhat more than other areas such as Skelmersdale for example”. [click to read] Oh dear!

But is that true? In 2016, due to austerity, plans were made by LCC to withdraw the county share of the green waste recycling service. It meant that where we live in Lancashire would dictate whether we would have to pay to have our garden waste taken away by our local council. Councils in Preston, Lancaster, and Wyre decided to start charging for green waste removal immediately, ahead of the withdrawal of county council funding in 2018 for the green recycling service.

In Wyre, where the charges took effect last year a spokesman said “Lancashire County Council’s funding towards the recycling service was reduced in 2013 and although it doesn’t come to a complete end until 2018, we need to take action now to mitigate the impact of losing almost £1m a year”. The cabinet member with responsibility for recycling at Wyre Council said “Garden waste collections have been provided across Wyre without charge since 1999. However it is now necessary that we join other local authorities up and down the country in charging in order to keep the service running. Despite requests to reconsider or scale down the withdrawal of funding to lessen the impact on the districts in the county, the decision has been made and we now have to mitigate that impact”.

In Chorley the council did not have a need to charge in2016 because it chose to raise income rather than make cuts “In Chorley we are doing other things to get money as opposed to cutting costs e.g. we acquired the shopping centre a couple of years ago that makes a healthy profit” they said.

In Ribble Valley the Council leader “We have a balanced budget which is sustainable. It is one of our flagship services … it’s all in house, we don’t contract it. We shall not be charging in the forthcoming financial year for green waste removal”.

A spokesman for Lancashire County Council explained in 2016 that “In the early days of recycling when district councils were introducing doorstep collections and we were trying to encourage more recycling we agreed to help them by sharing the cost of bringing in the new collections. The agreement, under which the county council still pays around £10m a year to district councils was originally made for 10 years and was extended in 2014 for a further 4 years until 2018. As recycling collections are now well established the cost-sharing agreement will come to an end in 2018.”

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