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Garden waste charges pose a thorny problem
PLANS to raise the cost of the garden waste collection service across Wychavon will be discussed next week.
Earlier this month, Wychavon executive board members agreed to increase the price of the service from £41 to £42 from April next year, which is in line with the rate of inflation. However, since the decision was made, a group of councillors have asked for the matter to be re-examined and want the cost to be increased further – from £41 to £45 – which represents an increase of almost 10 per cent.
The proposed changes would mean that the cost of the scheme will have gone up by 63.6 per cent on the original price of £27.50 when the garden waste collection service was first introduced five years ago.
Councillors Andrew Dyke, Alastair Adams and Frances Smith asked to review the proposals and have ‘called in’ the decision which will be discussed again by members of Wychavon’s overview and scrutiny committee on Tuesday. Coun Smith said she thought the increase was necessary and hoped it would not result in people leaving the scheme “I think the difference between £41 and £42 is so small it’s ridiculous. We have to make savings and make sure we get value for money. I understand there may be some elderly people who may find it difficult, but I think £45 is a more reasonable figure.” A report by Phil Merrick, head of community services at Wychavon, said comparisons with other councils demonstrated Wychavon was ‘not providing a particularly cheap service’, with only Malvern Hills District Council more expensive and most local authorities providing the service for between £30 and £37.