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Could brown bin charges for West Suffolk increase next year?

PUBLISHED: 07:30 02 November 2018

Brown bin charges in West Suffolk may increase from £40 to £43 annually Picture: GREGG BROWN

Brown bin charges in West Suffolk may increase from £40 to £43 annually Picture: GREGG BROWN

Annual charges for brown bin collections in west Suffolk could be set to increase from next year.

A joint task group for St Edmundsbury and Forest Heath councils was set up in June to review garden waste collection, which was first introduced in 2016.

Annual fees per household are currently £40 for garden waste to be collected, after an agreement to fix it for three years when it was first introduced, but the review included assessing whether that could be upped to £43 or £45.

It has now been recommended to increase the fee to £43 from next year – with subscription charge reviews suggested every year going forward, meaning further hikes in the future could not be ruled out.

The task group’s report said that “lower subscription charges generally result in an increase in subscription numbers” but added: “A charge of £43 would mean that the service would continued to be the lowest subscription charge in Suffolk and any future changes to charging would be considered to reflect changes to operating costs and the new funding arrangements with Suffolk County Council.”

Diane Hind and Simon Cole, chairmen of the council’s scrutiny committees said: “This is a good point at which to review performance and consider new factors that will affect delivery.

“We are looking forward to discussing the panel’s recommendations, before considering what in turn overview and scrutiny committee will recommend to shadow executive meeting on 27 November [where a final decision will be made].”

A report assessing Waveney District Council’s garden waste collection has also been published, with bosses buoyed by the data which suggested around half of all households had signed up.

Waveney is in its third year of the subscription scheme, with the latest report describing it as having a “very good performance”.

Rolling subscriptions are now being planned going forward, as well as ID tags on bins which will better identify which households have paid their subscription.

A spokesman said: “We are really pleased with the service and how it is progressing. Suffolk Coastal and Waveney are among the leading councils nationwide in terms of percentage take-up of the service.

“This is down to a number of factors including delivering a good service and also being clear with customers about why charging has been introduced and the value for money that it still provides.”

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