Concerns charges will be introduced for brown bins

People are worried that charges will be introduced for brown garden waste bins in South Ribble
People are worried that charges will be introduced for brown garden waste bins in South Ribble
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Protests have been launched over concerns that people in South Ribble will have to pay to keep their brown bins.

Other local authorities across the country, including Pendle, have started charging £25 a year for people to have garden waste bins.

Now, South Ribble Council has admitted it cannot promise that a similar scheme will not be introduced in the borough.

Opposition councillors expressed concerns at a full council meeting that the Conservatives would not commit to preventing the scheme being brought into South Ribble.

Liberal Democrat leader, Coun David Howarth, proposed a motion at the meeting which asked the council “to give a commitment to our residents that we will not impose additional charges for the much valued green waste collection.”

But Coun Peter Mullineaux, the council’s cabinet member for neighbourhoods and street scene, said: “I can’t in all reality give a commitment about charges in the future.

“As we move forward with a new contract with Lancashire County Council, we will proceed with caution and look at how things develop.”

Instead, he suggested an amendment to the motion, which stated: “South Ribble Council resolves to endeavour to maintain the provision of the much valued green waste collection service.”

Conservative councillor, Graham O’Hare, said: “We have no desire to introduce any charges, but who knows what central government will impose?”

The Liberal Democrats also raised worries over proposals by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, to return to weekly general waste collections - but the Tories assured this wouldn’t happen in South Ribble.

Currently, grey bins in South Ribble are collected every fortnight, as are the blue recycling and brown garden waste bins.

The Conservatives’ amendment added: “Whilst some councils are reducing their service levels, the council is committed, even during these challenging times, to do its best to maintain the highest levels of service that our residents have come to expect.”

Part of the original motion which the Tories agreed to support read: “The council resolves to maintain our commitment to alternate weekly waste collections and to support the Local Government Association view that local authorities should be left to implement and run services that best fit their areas and priorities in line with localism.”

But Labour leader Coun Matthew Tomlinson argued: “We won’t support this amendment because there are a couple of points we have real concerns about.

“We have real concerns about Eric Pickles. He goes on about localism, but then tells local councils what they should do, which flies in the face of localism.

“To say he will go to election and make councils do weekly collections is barmy - it will cost millions.

“I’ve been on the doorsteps in Leyland and nobody has said they want to go back to weekly collections for their grey bins.”

He added: “For the Conservatives to delete the part of the motion about no charges for green waste is a danger.

“People don’t want to pay extra to have their brown bins; they already pay council tax.

“We should stand up and say ‘we won’t do this’, and then maybe we will be forced into it, but at least we can try to make that commitment for free green waste collections.”

The amended motion was voted through.