As the reader who first brought up the issue of garden green bin collection charges, can I be allowed further comment on what has become a major issue for other correspondents?
All comment seems to be critical of the council’s decision to impose a charge. All except for yourself, Mr Pendle, who appears to have swallowed the council propaganda hook, line and sinker. An unfortunate position for a journalist who should be looking beyond council propaganda.
Reasons why people should be concerned about this move are many but here are just a few.
Firstly, the claim that as not all residents have gardens, they should not subsidise those who have failed to recognise (as other correspondents have pointed out) that people who have gardens generally pay more council tax. So what “subsidy”?
Secondly, the claim this service is similarly unfair (as not all residents can use it) ignores the question as to why it was not unfair when it was initially set up. Perhaps Coun. White and Mr Mousdale, in particular, can answer this. If it is “unfair” now, it was “unfair” then but the council none the less went ahead with the service.
Thirdly, the cost of £25 a year is said to be “only” 50p a week. Another way of looking at this is cost per bin emptying which, in my case, based on annual usage, equates to £5 per bin emptying.
Quite a difference in perception!
Taken with the outrageous 352.1% increase in Colne Town Council precept, anyone in my area who chooses to use the “bin service” faces in effect a £57 plus increase in council tax. The cost may be £25 this year but what about next year and the years after that? The record of councils and paid for “services” is one of merciless plundering. Just look at the nearby Yorkshire Council that you yourself mention and its record on car park charges.
Fourthly, is this move by Pendle Council just the first stage in the “stripping out” of services from council tax financing to make people pay twice for such services?
An example that quickly comes to mind is the occasional appearance on my estate of a small road sweeper that sweeps the footpaths (although it is difficult to see any change between “before” and “after”). Friends who live in terraced houses don’t get this service. So, based on the green bin charge criteria, is this the next service that a charge will be levied for? The future seems ominous.
As the green bin charge rises in future years and other services are “stripped out” of the council tax, I believe residents will rue the day this invidious charge was first mooted.
Martin B. Hodgson
Haverholt Close, Colne