As mentioned here before, the Labour Council have decided to introduce a £35 per annum charge for green garden waste collection from next February. Though they have tried to blame the Government, the fact is that it is the Labour Councillors, and they alone, who have decided which services to cut in order to balance their budget.
The Conservative opposition put forward an alternative fully costed budget last year. It cut down on European and Equalities officers for example (reducing them only to the level found acceptable by other core cities) but it left garden waste collection free at the point of delivery. Labour voted down our plans.
So the charge comes in, and despite the fact that it doesn’t come in for another 5 months, the Council has already started collecting in the money. They are offering a £5 early bird discount if you sign up for a green garden wheelie bin before November 15th.
Despite having to pay £35 per annum for the privilege of having a green wheelie bin (garden waste sacks are only allowed for those whose houses are deemed unsuitable for a wheelie bin and they must be in future be purchased too) residents will be limited to how much garden waste they can put out.
Only that which fits into the wheelie bin (which will be emptied fortnightly during the growing season and not at all during the winter) is allowed. There can be no extra put out beside it (clearly a far worse service from Labour than the Conservatives offered since currently householders can leave out as much green recycling as they like). I think we ought to be encouraging people to recycle, not limiting what they can put out – but that’s what Birmingham’s Labour Councillors are doing. The only suggestion from the Council for those who think they have too much for the wheelie bin – is to buy a second wheelie bin at a charge of another £35 per annum!
The Council website also threatens legal action against any householder who persistently puts their garden waste in with their household rubbish. They might as well have added “Big Brother is watching you!”
Looking at the website this afternoon, the only way you could pay seemed to be by Debit or Credit card – which is bad luck if you don’t have internet access or a bank account. That is likely to be predominantly elderly people. Don’t Labour care about them?
Of course there are the obligatory questions about ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation to be got through before they will even let you buy a green wheelie bin. True you can answer that you refuse to answer (which I did) but you still have to go through all the questions and fill in an answer to each one, or it will not take you to the page where you can purchase a bin.
Typical Labour priorities! Obsessed by finding out what sexual orientation everyone is, but they won’t collect green recycling any more unless people pay an annual charge. And no, it wasn’t free before, it was paid for by Council Tax Payers, through their Council Tax. Now Brummies will have to pay twice – thanks to Labour.