by derekdeedman on 13 December, 2012
One of my responsibilities as a County Councillor is to report to each parish council in my area on my and County Council activities that may relate to the respective parish council area. This also applies to the Horsham District Councillors in respect to their and District Council activities.
At recent parish council meetings the district councillors have reported that as part of the District Council budget preparation for 2013/14 it is likely that to help freeze the level of council tax for next year the District Council may introduce a green waste recycling collection charge of £29pa. Currently Horsham collects green waste from all householders (provided they put out their brown top bin) every other week as part of the council tax charge.
Although other District Councils in West Sussex levy a separate charge for the collection on green waste, the collection in the Horsham District has been seen as an integral part of the Acorn recycling scheme charged for as part of council tax. The introduction of a separate charge will increase administrative costs and almost certainly reduce the number of householders recycling their green waste, could lead to fly tipping, and, if brown top bins are retained, may lead to some of those not paying to put their waste into the bins of those who do.
In addition the £29 represents effectively a huge increase in the District Council element of Council Tax – equivalent to over 20% for those on Band D, over 30% for those with the smallest houses on Band A, but only just above 10% for those in the biggest houses on Band H. By introducing a separate charge for green waste the Tories would, once again, be hitting those on the lowest income the hardest, whilst those with the biggest houses (and therefore probably higher incomes and more green waste) would face the smallest percentage increase.
Surely the better way to save more money (and encourage increased recycling) would be to do the same as the two other rural districts in West Sussex and collect general waste every other week rather than weekly? In those districts general rubbish is collected one week and recycling waste the next. After all, prior to the introduction of the large recycling blue top bin for every household in Horsham, all the waste went into the one general rubbish collection bin from every house. The two weekly general rubbish collection works well elsewhere and would be a much more effective and fairer way to reduce council tax costs in Horsham. It would increase recycling (and so reduce the costs to the County Council which has to pay to dispose of the general waste), and would avoid the extra costs, administration and unfairness involved from a separate charge for green waste collection.
Let Horsham District Council know your views on this green waste charge proposal – at the very least the Council should consult on these two options.1 Comment