More than 30,000 households in East Lindsey are to face a sharp increase in the cost of their garden waste collection service.
From spring, the charge will rise from £25 – the figure set when the service was introduced in April 2014 – to £40, East Lindsey District Council (ELDC) has ruled.
The number of collections will also be reduced between November and March, with the annual tally coming down from 25 to 21.
It means the service will cost 77 pence per week or £1.90 per collection (compared with £1 at present).
And Horncastle residents are far from happy. After the news was announced last week, many voiced their anger on our Facebook page. Sophie Goddard wrote: “We pay enough council tax as it is! I grudge paying £25 let alone £40.”
Daniel Jones added: “I only put my bin out once a month. I don’t find this good value, so won’t be subscribing next year. I’d rather go to the tip on a Sunday than cough up more money to the council.”
Meanwhile, Patricia Scott simply said: “Absolutely disgusting having to pay that.”
But Melissa Newton defended the charge: “Still less than £2 a collection so I don’t get why people have a problem with it. You probably pay more than that for a coffee and I don’t hear people threatening to stop going to coffee shops!”
ELDC note, however, the new levy will make the service self-funding and be fixed for four years.
About 32,000 householders are signed up to the service, but the income does not meet the operating costs of about £1.25 million per annum. The shortfall is about £446,000 per annum.
The changes, which followed extensive public consultation, were approved on Wednesday at a meeting of ELDC’s executive board following a presentation from portfolio holder for operational services Coun Sandra Harrison.
In a statement issued after the meeting, she said: “East Lindsey is a very large rural district, which makes the provision of services such as waste collections very costly.
“I’d like to thank all those residents who took the time to have their say in the consultation.
“I am pleased we’re able to take forward the option that was most supported in the consultation (option c) and the council will be implementing this when those who require the service renew their subscription in early 2017.”
There was also a further explanatory comment from the council which said: “Over the next four years, we need to reduce our annual £18m running costs by £6m as Government funding to support local services continues to reduce.”
The public consultation presented households with four options to make the green waste collection service more sustainable, while also offering the chance to put forward their own proposals.
l Option a, to have 25 collections at £25 a year, was favoured by 27 per cent of respondents.
l Option b, to have 25 collections at a charge that covers the cost of providing the service, was favoured by two per cent.
l Option c, to reduce collections during the winter and fix the cost at £40 per year until April 2021, was favoured by 36 per cent.
l Option d, to reduce collections during the winter and increase the cost to £35 for 2017/18, with the possibility of raising it again after that date, was favoured by 26 per cent.