Hundreds sign petition against paying for their brown bins in Suffolk

Campaigners collecting signatures in Felixstowe town centre against proposals for a charge on brown

Campaigners collecting signatures in Felixstowe town centre against proposals for a charge on brown bins - Credit: Archant

Anger is growing as households face the possibility of paying up to £50 a year for a brown bin – as councils in Suffolk prepare to make decisions over whether to charge.

Campaigners against the charge say they found “disbelief, shock and anger” with people saying they would put their compostable material in with the general rubbish.

Three districts – Suffolk Coastal, St Edmundsbury, and Forest Heath – still have to decide if they will impose a charge for collection of organic waste.

Ipswich has said it will not charge, Waveney has said it will, and in Mid Suffolk and Babergh households already pay for brown bins.

But a petition in one district has provided a snapshot of the feeling among residents, with almost 650 people signing in just a few hours against paying for a brown bin.

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Michael Sharman, one of the organisers of the Felixstowe Labour Party petition, said: “We had an absolutely phenomenal response. At times people were actually queuing to sign, demanding to sign and even came into town just to sign after they heard of the petition.

“Those who signed the petition displayed a mixture of disbelief, shock and anger and many were unaware of the proposal.

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“There was a particular feeling that this was a stealth tax and the thin end of the wedge dreamed up to avoid the district council raising its council tax.

“Our petition is localism in action. By gaining more than 600 signatures, the scrutiny committee at Suffolk Coastal council will now have to examine the county council’s demand.

“However, in my experience, whatever Waveney does one day, Suffolk Coastal does the next. We shall have to see if history repeats itself in this instance.”

A Suffolk Coastal spokesman said: “The decision by Suffolk County Council to significantly reduce the Recycling Performance Payments available to us will obviously put pressure on councils like ours, who have kept council tax frozen at the same level for five years and have worked hard to reduce our running costs in the face of a 30% drop in Government funding.

“However, at this stage, Suffolk Coastal has not fully examined this issue in detail and no decision has been made.

“While we welcome any information or comments which will contribute to this debate, it would be inappropriate to speculate on what decision might be made by this council.”

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