Liverpool garden waste collection charges face hike

The controversial charge to collect green waste across Liverpool could be increased under new plans.

Back in 2022, a fee was introduced by the city council in a bid to address some of its financial issues and raise more than £1m. After causing a ruckus across all sides of the chamber, the policy was adopted and generated tens of thousands of sign-ups.

New budget papers have now revealed the £40 for a single bin could be increased to £50 – a raise of 25% – subject to cabinet approval.

The impact of the programme was wide-reaching and even led to a split in the ruling Labour group at the Town Hall. A new political grouping was born when former Labour members refused to vote for the council’s annual budget which included the surcharge.

A petition was launched in opposition to the plans with thousands of residents making their feelings known online. It also faced criticism during the roll out of the programme, when the local authority was made to provide an additional free week of collections after a mix-up on its website over the end of the previous scheme.

Liverpool Council also sought answers from Royal Mail over stickers designating who had paid for the scheme to be placed on bins not being received on time.

As part of the authority’s new fees and charges scheme for the next financial year, it has been revealed the charge for green waste collections will now be increased by a quarter. A single bin will cost £50, up from £40.

Having two bins emptied will now cost £93.75 – increased from £75. Three bins would amount to £125.

Cllr Carl Cashman, leader of the opposition Liberal Democrat group, accused the Labour leadership of hiding the increase. He said, “This is really poor from Labour to bury a 25% tax hike in the last appendix of the cabinet report on financial strategy – why hasn’t this gone in front of the neighbourhood committee or the finance committee?

“It seems as though Labour think they can just jack the prices way above inflation and everyone can just lump it.”

In establishing the fee, Liverpool has become the fourth of the six Liverpool City Region local authorities to ask residents to stump up for collections. St Helens, Wirral and Halton already charge a fee while Knowsley and Sefton still provide the service for free.

Since taking control of the council, the Labour administration elected last May has been keen to underline its fiscal responsibility. Cllr Ruth Bennett, deputy leader and cabinet member for finance and resources, said to maximise its income it was important the council reviewed its fees and charges on a regular basis. She said: “At a time when our finances are under a great deal of pressure, it is absolutely vital that we recover money owed to us in a timely manner.

“The changes we are making to our systems and processes are starting to make a real difference to our finances. We are rolling out new methods enabling businesses and individuals to pay us quickly and easily, which is more convenient for them and is less time consuming for our staff. It is all part of our improvement journey and is vital to us becoming an organisation that provides efficient services which are value for money.”

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