What happened to the ‘one-off fee’?

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I have the following concerns about SKDC’s proposal to introduce an annual charge for the green waste service:

1. Exisiting customers paid SKDC what was supposed to be a ‘one-off fee’ to join the green waste service. Has the legality of SKDC reneging on this deal been examined? Would a refund of the ‘one-off fee’ be offered for those unwilling to pay an annual charge?

2. Those who joined the service within the last few months will not have reaped the full benefit of their “joining fee” by the time the new payment scheme is introduced in April. For eg, I paid £26 to join on 20 Sep 2011 and only 7 months later could face a further bill of £25 to continue using the service.

3. Councillor Smith stated that ‘we are keen to promote recycling’ and yet also appears keen to introduce the disincentive of an annual charge.

4. Councillor Smith also stated that introducing the new charge “will help prevent council tax rises in April”. I believe that the principle of expecting green waste customers to effectively subsidise council tax payments for all SKDC residents is dubious, particularly for those who are totally reliant on the service for removing green waste (eg. those unable to drive to a recycling centre).

5. The SKDC website states “at present residents cannot purchase compost back from us”. So what is the product of the green waste service currently being used for? Is a potentially viable alternative option for helping to finance the green waste service being ignored?

John Cairns

via email