Last-ditch bid to overturn controversial North Northants yard waste tax fails

A last-minute attempt to waive North Northamptonshire Council’s controversial £40 garden waste collection fee failed last night (Tuesday).

A group of cross-party advisers had used an appeals process to try to force the ruling executive committee to take a fresh look at the decision, which they approved in September despite thousands of furious residents opposing it during a consultation.

Opposition members said the ruling could lead to more landfills, garden waste could just end up in black bins and the charge is unaffordable for people in the midst of a cost crisis. life.

Residents of the North Northants area will need to pay an annual subscription if they want their green waste collected curbside

At last night’s key Interparty Control Committee meeting, a vote on whether to take no further action or refer the decision to the executive committee was tied at 6-6. Cllr Meeting Chair Wendy Brackenbury (Con), the wife of Executive Member Cllr David Brackenbury, used her casting vote to take no further action, meaning the executive’s decision to pursue the charges will stand .

Cllr Martin Griffiths (Ind) said the meeting should be chaired by an opposition or independent adviser, adding that such meetings should be broadcast in future so ratepayers can see how decisions are made.

He said: “Determining such an important issue after a tie vote on a President’s casting vote was downright rude.”

Green bins were previously collected at no additional cost in Corby, Kettering and Wellingborough, with an annual charge of £55 in East Northamptonshire.

City Council last night

But after the four district councils are replaced by North Northamptonshire Council, which wants to harmonize services, anyone who needs to collect garden waste will face a £40 annual subscription from April 1 this year next.

Residents can sign up for a green compostable bag service for £16.50 with garden waste collected in bags for occasional use for those with small gardens, as an alternative to the 12 month subscription service.

Cllr Anne Lee (Lab), who initiated the appeal process, said: ‘I argued quite strongly that the executive should have listened to the recommendation of the Finance and Resource Review Committee and the 80% of 9,000 respondents who said they preferred green waste collections to continue to be part of the council tax rather than being billed as an opt-in service. After all, we don’t have a full view of the numbers of private contractors currently competing in East Northants.

“It remains to be seen whether these private contractors will now expand their business to compete with the council across North Northants.”

Council Labor leader Cllr John McGhee, who previously described the charge as a ‘stealth tax’, described the process as a ‘mess’.

In a previous statement, Cllr Executive Member Graham Lawman (Con) said: “Recent extensive consultation we have carried out has shown that residents agree that we should harmonize service and we believe that charging users an appropriate and affordable rate only across the unitary unit is the fairest way to run this service – creating the most cost-effective and sustainable solution, while supporting our medium-term financial plans.

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