Liberal Democrats have criticised Green Councillors for backing proposals which will see residents charged £35 a year for all garden waste collections.
As previously reported, Green Party councillors last week supported the ruling Labour Group’s Budget along with former Conservative Cllr Joe Watt. The plans will see a charge introduced for all green bin collections alongside increased car parking rates and cuts to community centres, road repairs and street cleaning.
In 2013, Labour was forced to abandon plans to charge for all green bin collections after 1,700 residents signed a Lib Dem petition and concerns were raised that a blanket charge would see recycling rates tumble.
However, Labour did force through a cut to winter collections and introduced a £35 charge for residents with more than one green bin.
This new charge is the equivalent of a 4% increase in Council Tax for most residents
The new plans, part of the council’s ‘Re-wiring’ project, will now see a charge for all garden waste collections in 2015/16 with officers recommending a flat £35 fee per bin.
Plans to reduce the frequency of grey bin collections will also be considered as part of the proposals.
Cllr Ann Reid, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Environmental Services, commented:
“It is hugely disappointing that Green councillors supported Labour’s Budget. This decision means further cuts to frontline services, increased fees for car parking and a new charge for all green bin collections.
“Under Labour recycling rates have already fallen and Landfill Tax bills increased to £3.7 million. Making residents pay £35 to recycle their garden waste will do further damage.
“Liberal Democrats worked with residents to defeat these plans in 2013, but Green councillors have now paved the way for a new Green Bin Tax in York as well as the option to reduce grey bin collections.
“The Lib Dem budget proposal was the only one which scrapped these plans. It would also have returned winter green bin collections and increased investment to boost recycling rates.
“The Labour-Green union, which last year blocked a review into the Lendal Bridge trial, has now passed a budget which will see cuts to services and reckless borrowing continue on projects such as the £9million Guildhall Media Hub.
“While I am pleased that Castlegate has been given a short-term reprieve and there is some hope for Yearsley Pool, the Labour-Green budget includes damaging cuts to community centres, road repairs and street cleaning as well as this new Green Bin charge.”
Details of the Green Bin proposals are included in the council’s plans for ‘Place Based Services’ – click here to access a copy