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2nd Jul, 2022

Protest against new garden waste charges postponed

A PROTEST planned against garden waste collection charges recently approved by Stratford District Council has been postponed.

Independent Harbury councillor Jacqui Harris and Southam councillor Tony Bromwich organised the the event – due to take place today – which will now take place in February to coincide with a district council meeting on the 24th.

The formerly free service is set to cost households £40 a year from June.

Coun Harris objected to the decision which she called ‘knee-jerk’.

She told the Observer: “As councillors we find it ridiculous that in the summer we voted in favour of declaring a climate emergency, yet the council subsequently votes for a measure that seeks to discourage responsible disposal of recyclable waste.

“It is clear they would not go for the referendum to increase the precept as it would not be supported so they have chosen this pathway, and transparency is lacking.

“We would point out that there appears to be undue haste in bringing in this charge in the final year of the existing green waste disposal contract, without seriously exploring all possible options, including looking at partnerships with other local authorities to maximise what is potentially an asset rather than a liability.

“Many positive ideas were put forward during the consultation, such as reducing the existing service to possibly six or eight months a year when most green waste is collected.

“We are concerned that many people either cannot afford the charge or are unwilling to pay the charge which again leads to an environmental impact of bin wagons clocking up miles for very low collections.

“Finally, all councillors are prepared to make tough and innovative decisions. This decision is neither innovative or tough, but an easy option and should be postponed for the 2020/21 financial year to allow councillors to explore all options not just knee jerk and railroad it through.

“We would like to see the plan in detail and know how it is to be implemented should it go ahead, many questions have been left unanswered at best or at worse ignored.”

The Conservative-controlled council has argued the charge was necessary to plug gaps in government funding and would encourage home composting.

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