Boston

Boston councillors call-in bin replacement charges decision after backlash

Boston borough councillors are calling on the authority to remove charges for replacement wheelie bins after a backlash from residents.

Bosses cracked down on the charges earlier this year after inconsistencies when the £25 charge was applied saw the authority lose a significant amount of money.

However, councillors have since reported their ward members reacting with confusion and anger over the decision.

At a meeting in September, the Environment and Performance Scrutiny Committee recommended to cabinet that it withdraw a £25 charge for replacement green and blue bins, which has been in the budget since 2013/14.

Yvonne Stevens Portfolio Holder for Environmental Services said in October that the recommendation could not be supported “due to the severe financial challenges facing the council”.

She added no viable alternative option had been proposed to the council and the suggestion was overruled.

Scrutiny councillors will say on Thursday that the cabinet did not consult enough people or provide evidence it had considered alternative provisions or the implication for public health, litter and fly-tipping.

Boston Borough Councillor Peter Bedford, who has signed the call-in along with fellow members Richard Austin, Peter Watson and Paul Goodale, believed the cost involved in officer time outweighed the £25 charge.

He said: “For the small amount of money that the borough has recouped since they started charging, the cost of officer monitoring and everything else, they must be out of pocket.”

One of his residents, who had raised the issue, was currently putting up with a taped up damaged bin until it was resolved, he said.

He added that City of Lincoln and South Kesteven District Council bins were both totally free.

Since 2013/14, Boston Borough Council has spent £162,000 on green and blue bins, however, has made £53,000 back from developers of new build properties but just £5,000 from householders whose bins were damaged.

It means the council has failed to recoup £104,000 in charges.

However, following the approval of a new central document in January, councillors reported receiving queries from confused and angry residents who had not been aware of them.

Some councillors also reported being unaware of the charges, despite officers confirming they had been in every budget since being introduced.


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