Labour’s councillors hammered home the key points about the new charge for green bins that will be levied from January 2018.
The charge does not represent the cost of the service; the Tory County Council have plans to cut the recycling credit by £223,000 which equates to £7.08 per household but the Tory Tamworth Council are going to charge £36 (online). They anticipate only 40% of households will continue to pay for green bins so Labour councillors pointed out that there is likely to be widespread abuse of the system, including residents putting green waste in their black bins as they used to do before recycling schemes were introduced.
Tory Lichfield Council need to find £2M in savings but Tamworth have the opportunity to invest the money from the sale of the golf course, so are using this opportunity to raise income ahead of the further cuts due next year and the ending of government grants to local councils in 2020. At the County Council’s Budget meeting the Tories presented a balanced budget without the cuts to recycling, but at our budget meeting the local Tory leader confirmed to me that Tamworth Council expect the County Council to withdraw the subsidy as soon as the election is over.
The reality is that the Tories at County originally thought the Conservative Borough councils would pass the charge on in a year where there were no borough elections but the Tories across the county realised they would still be blamed, and now Tamworth are bringing it in five months before the next election.