Melton Borough Council votes to dump the 'bin tax' petition

Profile image for melton_mark

By melton_mark | Thursday, April 19, 2012, 10:33

At Wednesday night's full council meeting, Melton Borough Councillors voted by 19 votes to 6 to reject the 'bin tax' petition - meaning there will be no changes to the new recycling service and Green Waste Club. Therefore all residents - including those on benefits - will have to pay the full £32 annual charge if they want to have their garden waste collected - something which was included in the council tax in previous years.

The original decision was taken by the Rural, Economic, and Environmental Affairs Committee in January without any public consultation on the options presented to them; and was implemented at the beginning of April. However following a public outcry, local resident Rob Watson organised a petition that was signed by 1864 local residents - passing the 1,500 needed to trigger a full council debate:

  • "We the undersigned petition Melton Borough Council to reconsider the proposed changes to the waste management contract because a £32 charge is unfair, and a universal service would be more effective"

Mr Watson was given 5 minutes (and at the Mayor's discretion an additional 5 seconds!) to outline his concerns, and he was complimented by both Conservative and Labour councillors on his presentation. However it quickly became clear that the debate would divide down party lines.

Conservative councillors stated that the changes in waste collection were saving the council £117,000 net per year, enabling them to freeze council tax again this year; and that it would cost over £400,000 to reinstate the service. Conservative John Wyatt summed up his objections by saying:

  • "Put this petition in the recycling bin - and there won't be any charge to take it away!"

Labour councillors Matthew O'Callaghan and Trevor Moncrieff also submitted a motion which was discussed alongside the petition:

  • "Council resolves: To fund the collection of green waste out of reserves for this year. In the short term to look at ways of mitigating the effect of the charge for disadvantaged individuals/groups"

When it came to the vote, everyone voted along party lines, with the 6 Labour councillors voting in favour of the petition / motion and 17 Conservative councillors and both Independents voting against. Click here to see how each Melton Borough Councillor voted.

After the meeting I spoke to Rob Watson who said:

  • "I was really disappointed with the standard of debate. The Conservative group voted on block - they are out of touch with the public. They didn't look at what's right for Melton residents."
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  • Profile image for blough2001

    What the media is not stating is this service is totally run outside the Council. i.e. Biffa believe that the uptake over a 3 year period will be sufficient enough to make this a viable (profitable) service. The Council still have to pay the 'gate' charges for the disposing etc. And basically it was pushed through so quickly as a means to save money! The sideloading vehicles had come to the end of their shelf life so to have a proper period of consultation would have meant this proposal not being cost effective! Of course, the fact that only 65% of Melton were effectively using the service at allows them to look after the needs of the minority!
    Also, it is £ 32.00 for 1 bin collected fortnightly, if you want more bins it is an additional £ 21.44 per bin. Cameron's big society!! - get together with your neighbours and the bin costs come down proportionally!! Damn them Tories are good?

    By blough2001 at 12:48 on 07/06/12

  • Profile image for niall1988

    Unfortunately they were never going to change their minds. Like Mr Watson said - Out of touch.

    By niall1988 at 11:22 on 06/06/12

  • Profile image for melton_mark

    I've now added an article looking at how the cost of Melton's scheme compares with other areas -

    By melton_mark at 12:47 on 31/05/12

  • Profile image for AMDBS

    It is such a shame that so many of those in power to serve us offer no thought, no consideration, no democracy!

    By AMDBS at 22:36 on 19/04/12

  • Profile image for ballyguitar

    I was there to witness this 'boys club' affair. Nothing would move the conservative crew, they wouldn't have changed opinion if a wet kipper slapped them. Democracy at its worst is all I can say.
    Just to add, on the 16th of April over 8 tonnes of green waste 'recycling' ended up on landfill!! Yes I witnessed this at Colsterworth landfill. Thought the few that happily pay £32 should know what it is being spent on and those with true 'green' credentials should be up in arms!

    By ballyguitar at 14:36 on 19/04/12

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