Following publication of your story last week about our plans to introduce a small charge for the collection of green waste, it has been suggested that instead of introducing a separate bill for this service we could simply add the cost to council tax.
Financial rules do not allow us to do this, and in any case we felt it would be unfair to force everyone to pay (people who want to compost or take their waste to the tip are perfectly at liberty to and will not have to pay), and we certainly didn’t want to make people who live in flats or terraced houses and have no garden pay for a service they could never make use of.
It is also worth stressing that all councils have had to cope with massive reductions in the grant they receive as the Government strives to reduce the national deficit. As your readers will no doubt be aware this has led to some authorities having to make major cuts in services and impose large scale redundancies.
In South Kesteven we have suffered a grant cut of 13.1% already and a further reduction of 11.7% will follow this year.
Our response has been to search for even more savings and introduce innovative new ways to serve local people so that we are able to put forward a budget which will allow us to freeze council tax and there will be no cuts in services.
Against this kind of background I believe that a charge for green waste collection that averages out at less than 50 pence a week over a full year is a small price to pay.
We are not seeking to make a profit, we are simply asking those people who use the service to help us meet the cost of providing it.
And remember people who don’t want to use the service don’t have to pay anything at all.
Cllr Linda Neal,
Leader South Kesteven District Council