Paying for bins under scrutiny

PUBLISHED: 14:42 13 March 2008 | UPDATED: 15:42 11 May 2010

UNFAIR FEES: Cllr Susan Van de Ven

UNFAIR FEES: Cllr Susan Van de Ven

A PARISH council against charges imposed on residents for green and black bins has asked for the issue to be re-examined. Meldreth Parish Council has submitted a question to South Cambridgeshire District Council s scrutiny and overview committee which is

A PARISH council against charges imposed on residents for green and black bins has asked for the issue to be re-examined.

Meldreth Parish Council has submitted a question to South Cambridgeshire District Council's scrutiny and overview committee which is due to meet next Thursday.

The parish council has asked: "Have the economic and social consequences of the effect of your policy of charging for delivery of wheelie bins taken into account the possibility of increased theft and increased fly tipping. If so, how great a problem is foreseen?"

The concerns come after two affordable housing developments, Burtons and Elin Way, were built in Meldreth and one of the developers refused to pay for wheelie bins for the houses.

Councillor Dr Susan Van de Ven, district councillor for Meldreth, told The Crow: "Raglan Housing Association, who built the Elin development, has come forward and paid the cost now.

"But the point is that the council is making a profit out of charging people in these new affordable homes to pay for their bins.

"Even if 12 houses in the same street all want bins they still all have to pay £60."

In 2004, the district council gave free wheelie bins to residents, but the policy was changed last year so that people in new housing would have to pay the council £60 to deliver the pair of bins.

Since then the district council has made £46,000.

Cllr Van de Ven said: "It is shortsightedness on the council's part.

"It will lead to fly tipping and theft of bins.

"People just don't have the money; they have to walk their rubbish to relatives' houses."

However, Cllr Daphne Spink, portfolio holder for housing and environmental Services, said: "Last year the council introduced the charges and arranged with registered social landlords that they would pay the £60 fee if tenants in affordable housing could not afford the fee.

"Raglan Housing Association did object but they realised that everyone else was paying the fee and have now agreed to pay.

"The charge means that tax payer does not have to subsidise the cost and the developers are willing to pay, we have had no other problems.

"We are sympathetic to people who can't afford the fee and have made adequate arrangements for them."

Cllr Van de Ven has twice asked the executive to wave the fee for the green and black bins.

She said: "At full council I asked that if somebody pays council tax but can't afford the charge could they wave it and they said no.

"I then asked that if rather than making a profit the council could just charge for delivery of the bins, but they wouldn't answer the question.

"Why should the housing associations, who are a charitable institution and non-profit be forced to pay the fee.

"The council is supposed to be supporting affordable housing.

"I think it is wrong on so many levels, it is incredibly unfair.

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