West Suffolk garden waste collection charges increased

The brown bin charge increase to �43 annually has been approved by West Suffolk Picture: GREGG BROWN

The brown bin charge increase to �43 annually has been approved by West Suffolk Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

An increase in collection charges for garden waste in West Suffolk has been approved, despite fears price hikes could be made more frequently.

West Suffolk Council’s shadow cabinet met last month where it approved recommendations to increase charges from £40 to £43 per year for each household that signed up.

The previous £40 fee had been fixed for three years since the introduction of the garden waste collection scheme, but will now face annual reviews meaning cost increases could happen more regularly.

Around 30,100 homes are currently subscribed to the garden waste collection service.

Councillor David Bowman, Forest Heath District Council cabinet member for operations said: “The first three years have proved successful – the service proposed generally operated in line with the expectations we had.

“We consider it important the services achieves break even as a minimum.”

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He added that the service was still competitive compared to other councils in Suffolk.

Peter Stevens, Mr Bowman’s equivalent for St Edmundsbury Borough Council, added that it “sits very comfortably with other councils across East Anglia”.

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The approved changes also mean that the system will operate on a rolling 12-month contract going forward, regardless of when homeowners choose to sign up.

They will take affect from April 2019.

Last month’s St Edmundsbury scrutiny committee heard that the £3 increase per household would mean the service could break even, but acknowledged the public would be sensitive to frequent increasing of charges.

A £5 increase was also considered but dismissed.

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