Households in Suffolk Coastal will have to pay £43 a year for garden waste collection – authority decides
Community leaders have reluctantly agreed to introduce charges for collecting garden waste from homes in east Suffolk.
Faced with mounting financial pressures, members of Suffolk Coastal’s cabinet felt they had little option but to accept officers’ advice and bring in fees – a cost of £43 per year for each household.
Unless they choose to make their own arrangements, families will start paying for the fornightly service from April and will be given the optoion of having a free, larger 240 litre bin for their garden waste.
It will mean Ipswich Borough Council is the only council in the county to still have a free collection service.
Suffolk Coastal leader Ray Herring said: “In 2015, we decided to maintain the ‘free’ garden waste collection service and to bear the cost of reduced Recycling Performance Payment support, despite the financial pressures on the council.
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“However, at the time, we did recognise that this is discretionary service that we provide and we always said we would have to keep this decision under review.
“While Suffolk Coastal wanted to avoid introducing charges for collecting garden waste, we have had to bow to the inevitable faced with the harsh realities of our current financial situation.
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“One of the key factors is the dwindling financial support we are receiving from central Government, which is really biting home. So we need to re-examine any options we have open to us to raise money, in order to keep council tax increases down and maintain our services.
“The reduction in the Recycling Performance Payment support from the county council to Suffolk Coastal equated to an annual shortfall of £150,000, rising to over £200,000 in 2018/19, which has been funded through existing budgets.
“Added to this, our East Suffolk Business Plan identifies the need for us to become increasingly financially-self sufficient in the future and Suffolk Coastal also remains committed to an ambitious programme of community-based and major capital investments, such as the current leisure redevelopment, in the coming years.”
Cabinet has agreed to begin work on a new waste contract, looking at the options of continuing to collect food and garden waste or moving to only collecting garden waste.