OWLs would have scrapped planned green bin charge in council budget

A WLBC green bin

The unpopular £30 green bin charge which will be introduced in West Lancashire in June should instead have been scrapped say Our West Lancashire.

Cllr Adrian Owens, who was Finance Portfolio holder for six years pointed out that the council has already underspent by £310,000 in the current financial year, an underspend that is likely to increase by the financial year end. The green bin charge was proposed to raise £500,000.

Cllr Owens said, “We said last year that this change was financially unnecessary and the financial situation underlines that. With the underspend and other changes such as addressing the loss in Building control and reducing councillor allowances to the Lancashire average achieving a workable budget without imposing this hugely unpopular charge was straightforward.”

Last year, Our West Lancashire raised a 960-strong petition signed by residents from every ward of the Borough against the proposed £30 bin charge, but the Labour council has stubbornly decided to go ahead in the face of 83% public opposition.

Our West Lancashire, say the evidence from Pendle who were the first Lancashire council to introduce a green bin charge in 2014 is even more concerning.

Cllr Owens said, “Composting rates from green waste collected have dropped by 32% in Pendle while the weight of general waste collected has increased which must then be sorted at an extra cost to the taxpayer. Equally concerning but not a surprise is that it is proposed to increase the green bin charge next year in Pendle by more than 10%. Where Pendle led in 2014, we in West Lancashire are following in 2017 and we shouldn’t.”