"It won't do diddly squat to plug the black hole": Conservatives oppose new £40 garden waste charge
The Redcar and Cleveland Council Conservative Group strongly opposes the recent decision by the Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council to introduce a £40 charge for garden waste collection.
In a recent Cabinet meeting, the Council approved a new subscription service for garden waste collection, starting April 2024, with an annual fee of £40 per garden waste bin.
This decision has been met with criticism from the Conservative Group, which views the charge as an unnecessary burden on residents.
Cllr Paul Salvin, Conservative Group Leader, said: "We have opposed this from day-one. At first in principle, but having seen the plans, now in practice.
"This is an unfair tax on residents who already pay considerable council taxes and, what's worse, it won't do diddly squat to plug the major black hole in this council's finances.
"The real issue facing Redcar & Cleveland, which this administration is doing little to nothing to sort out, is the millions of pounds overspent every single year on Children's Services.
"We need more foster carers, we need more accommodation spaces for children. As things stand, we pay through the nose to have our children sent to other authorities who then charge us a fortune for the privilege.
"On top of all this, in recent months I have sat in numerous committee meetings regarding the rising contamination of blue recycling bins.
"This new charge will only add to the contamination of these bins as people find other ways of disposing garden waste which could end up costing the council more money in the long run.
"And given that green waste wasn’t collected in many parts of the borough at the start of November due to staffing issues, residents will expect a much better service than the one currently on offer, especially if they have to pay for the privilege of it. The council needs to resolve that issue before actively starting to charge for it.
"Instead of confronting the real issues facing our budget, this Labour-run, Lib-Dem enabled, council is placing an unfair, inadequate and ineffectual extra tax on those who already pay their council tax each year.
"It's deeply unfair and it won't even touch the sides of the huge financial problems facing this council."
The Conservative Group is also concerned that this latest decision could set a precedent for introducing more charges for services that should already be covered by council tax.
Cllr Salvin added: "We are committed to ensuring that our residents receive the best value for their money.
"Introducing new charges for standard services is not the solution to the council's budgetary pressures. We should be exploring more efficient ways to manage our resources without passing the burden onto taxpaying residents."
The Conservative Group is calling for a reconsideration of this decision and urges the council to explore alternative solutions that do not involve additional charges for residents.
The group is inviting residents to express their opinions on this issue and is committed to voicing these concerns in council discussions.