Councillors in North Kesteven have voted to go ahead with a 20 per cent hike in annual charges for collection of garden waste from homes from April.
At their pre-Christmas meeting on Thursday, members agreed to the recommended increase put forward by the Executive Board and a specially-created Task and Finish group put together to analyse the costs and viability of the current service.
A majority of 36 members were in favour of the rise from £25 to £30 a year for the twice a month collection of the brown wheelie bins, which reduces to once a month over the winter period. One member was against the increase and two abstained.
There will also be a £12 annual charge for collection of any additional brown bin - an increase of £2. Any resident without a brown bin wishing to subscribe would have to pay £12 for their first new bin and then £30 each for any additional brown bins.
There will also be an annual review of the charges in case the demand for the service increases or decreases greatly, affecting the cost of man power and equipment to run the scheme. This was preferred to an automatic increase to ensure that costs were still covered.
Coun Peter Lundgren chaired the Task and Finish Group, which was concerned that the current subscription charge did not currently cover the cost of the service.
He told the council that he welcomed the increase in the charge as he felt it was right: “It should be that those rate payers not subscribing to the service (or benefiting from it), are not subsidising the service, and then it covers its costs.
“The problem was trying to guess the charge that should be levied. I welcome an annual review of the charge, then the service will be seen and valued as meeting its costs but not generating additional surplus income to the council.”
Coun Geoff Hazelwood commented: “It is necessary we keep everything up to date and then annually it (a charge increase) may be a smaller amount.
“The only thing I would like to make sure is that the people who do not pay are not allowed to put their waste in their black bin. We should be a little careful that the people that pay for it (the brown bin collection service) are the only people that use it.”
The council has already issued a ban on garden waste being put in black-lidded household waste bins.
Leader of the council, Coun Marion Brighton said the executive board was impressed by the work put in by the Task and Finish Group and the Environment Overview and Scrutiny Panel (which endorsed the report) in carefully analysing everything.