Welwyn Hatfield Council will be launching a consultation tomorrow asking whether residents would be prepared to pay for garden waste collections (brown bins) and if so, how much.
Yet again, our council gives us no option. In an effort to provide a so called survey, it basically tells us they will be charging us. End of. What is the point of surveying us when the conclusion is already decided? Just a way to waste more money and appear to 'consult'. This is another way of taxing people.
As well as responding on individual sites please consider responding to the draft Infrastructure Development Plan (IDP). This is frightening in its inadquacy - over £240million has been estimated to supply the infrastructure needed to support the 12,100 additional dwellings in the area. Sources for this money are not clear and are based on trust!!! Without a viable infrastructure plan the Local Plan itself is not viable.
Latest from WHT - http://www.whtimes.co.uk/news/where_is_the_continue_as_is_option_welwyn_hatfield_residents_criticise_bin_consultation_1_4757906
Recycling 'survey' re @WelHatCouncil collections needs rewording. It's more an ultimatum than a consultation https://t.co/QbIwVBWnfc pic.twitter.com/HZjajnbJvo— bpnewsletter (@bpnewsletter) November 1, 2016
Food waste going in black bins wastes this useful material, and leads to an increase in the amount of "residual waste" which needs to be landfilled or incinerated.
The survey seems to indicate that carrying on as we are isn't an option. Got to Q5 and had to give up because of the lack of options. It seems the choice is no collections or pay for it. :icon_scratch:
WHBC needs to cease this consultation and ask the question properly, informing residents of what is actually on the table, not with partial information as currently.
Why @WelHatCouncil needs to clarify its recycling survey & better inform the public about its plans for food waste https://t.co/OYBMp2Ezyb pic.twitter.com/zUgQq8EVeW— bpnewsletter (@bpnewsletter) November 4, 2016
So any data from this - or any other survey using this methodology - is unreliable.
Perhaps in future our council will move to separately-collected food waste. If this is what is being considered, then please will the council inform the public now. In this case, some residents might accept a small charge for optional collection of garden waste. Three Rivers borough currently collects food waste separately, and charges £35 a year (£30 for those on benefits) for optional collection of garden waste. One disadvantage of charging for garden waste collection is that it could well lead to even more fly-tipping in the borough.
WHBC Garden Waste Consultation
Dear Watch Member,
Foe the 10 years that OWL has been in operation, it has been mainly used to report issues around crime. OWL is in fact a non-political tool for the community to use, covering other community issues. For example, if a waste bin collection fails to happen, or if a major pothole has been noticed, the Local Coordinator has the ability to let their neighbours users know that it has been reported by an OWL message.
Following the recent survey put out by Welwyn & Hatfield Borough Council on the garden waste collection (Brown bin) issue, many residents have expressed disatisfaction to local and social media at the survey only providing two options of response; either to charge or cease the service.
Attached is an alternative survey that allows the person completing it to have the third option of 'Continue existing service unchanged' and also adds a freeform comments box. This alternative survey, once completed, will go straight to the Council so that they may know the wishes of local people more clearly.
Sorry for the slip in the email addresses of Helen Bromley and John DeanIs that better, I've corrected them for you.
The end of each address should be gov.uk
3) Food waste to be put in black (landfill) refuse bin. This absolutely flies in the face of all that we have been encouraged to do, and will undermine in one fell swoop, years of education and behaviour pattern changes to the detriment of the environment and increased land fill tax bills for the council.
Do you think they are making this up as they go along? Seems like the ramblings of the confused rather than a thought through strategy.Definitely! It is clear that they haven't costed a separate food waste collection, which they would have to subtract from the 'savings' from the changes to garden waste collection, in order to establish the overall 'benefit'.
I was chatting to a friend in the pub over the weekend, and he suggested that one consequence of this could be that more people turn to garden bonfires as a way of disposing of previously recyclable waste. That would be a pity, and not great for the environment.
Anyone planning on burning their waste may be well advised to read WHBC's guidance on the issue:
Bonfires and smoke
"Bonfires are not an acceptable method of disposing of domestic garden rubbish or commercial trade waste."
[Includes a PDF on domestic bonfires, which states: "Bonfires can cause real annoyance and nuisance to neighbours and we strongly discourage them. "]
If you take just all the economic migrants providing additional tax receipts for central and local government with economies of scale factored then we should be seeing the council deficits heading in the black shouldn't we?
How about re-rating our homes and charging those that have been the recipients of massive house price increases as the government underwrites the property market and keeps interest rates artificially low - people like myself - a higher Community Charge so they take more of a tax burden. Once that was considered a logical response. Post Thatcher it is deemed left wing radicalism. Why not ask those that can afford it to contribute more ?Absolutely not! why no go after those who choose not to pay rather than relying constantly on those they can be squeezed to balance the books. those of us in unadapted/private roads have to pay for the maintenance of our roads with no council tax reduction, together with fewer public services what do we actually get for our money.
The real objection to the waste collection charge is that it clearly has not been competently costed, as the council cannot produce figures for the costs of administration, and the alternative arrangements for food waste handling, let alone the environmental costs which will certainly ensue.
Its about getting back to basics - the UK economy is nothing more than a all encompassing balance sheet, put simply you ensure all those that are ABLE to contribute do, and in turn allocate revenues fairly within your means.
Although I think there is scope for increasing stamp duty especially on more expensive homes / increasing the tax rate on rental income / inheritance tax levels on higher value properties / a premium tax on overseas buyers (I saw a news package recently where an oriental buyer said he was looking at buying several smaller properties in the outskirts of London to avoid a stamp duty increase). At a local level, there could be an annual HMO licensing and a stricter enforcement of regulations - no leaving your bins out for days if not weeks; parking your vehicles on the pavement and grass verges; drinking in the supposedly alcohol free zone...
Some very valid points well made.
... it should be a prerequisite that any senior civil servant must have been employed in the commercial sector for a number of years before taking up any senior role.
You and I cant ensure this happens but is this not the job of the elected goverment, didnt May say as much outside number 10 during her first media appearance?Its about getting back to basics - the UK economy is nothing more than a all encompassing balance sheet, put simply you ensure all those that are ABLE to contribute do, and in turn allocate revenues fairly within your means.
Therein lies the rub. It would be lovely to think that everyone contributes fairly according to their means, but I suspect tax evasion and the cash-in-hand economy disrupt the ideal model.
Welwyn Hatfield Council, by charging for garden waste collection without separate collection of food waste, will be damaging the environment and increasing waste disposal costs for the council-taxpayer. WHBC Conservative councillors urge us to avoid food waste and to use home composting if possible, which is right. However, not all food waste, such as tea-bags, egg-shells and vegetable peelings, can be avoided; not everyone has the space or ability for home composting; and some foods, including meat, should not be put in home-composters.
Welwyn Hatfield Council has now decided to charge for garden waste collection (brown bins) without separate collection of food waste, and will therefore legally have to tell residents to put food waste in the black residual waste bins.
The fact that this is a backward step environmentally and also financially for the council-tax payer has now been underlined by a Report to be presented to the Herts County Council Waste Management Panel on Feb 7. Herts County Council has the responsibility for dealing with the waste that is collected by Welwyn Hatfield Council.
...The HCC Report also makes clear that Disposal of food in the residual waste is significantly more expensive than AD or IVC, therefore increasing costs to the council-tax payer. Anaerobic Digestion, used for food collected separately, for which there is a new plant at Coursers Farm near Colney Heath, costs £40 a tonne. In-Vessel Composting, for food and garden waste mixed, for which there is a plant at South Mimms, costs £47 a tonne. However, residual waste costs £95 to dispose of by incineration, and £102 to landfill, not including the transport costs.
And will they examine the contents of my black bin to check there is an average amount of food waste in there?
There will not exactly be a contamination problem because of food going in the residual (black bin) waste, as this waste will all go (unsorted) to landfill or incineration.
I think Cathy already answered this point:
I have yet to see answers to the question of how they will check will are disposing of food waste according to the new rules.
It appears that some are missing the point.
The usual primary purpose of taxation is to raise money for the coffers (taxation is also a useful tool in protecting embryonic / strategic industries and modifying behaviour - by increasing the price to deter actions deemed 'harmful' or undesirable, an example of that being the landfill escalator tax).
In the interests of maximising returns to the public purse, a tax should be easy and inexpensive to collect and difficult to avoid / evade.
The current bins collections - and transport and disposal of collected waste - is not free. This work is done and paid for through council tax and any grant / subsidy from county or central government (who in turn get the money to do that mainly through taxation, licensing and fines).
Now there are perfectly understandable reasons for increasing council tax - such as, government grant cuts, increases in the minimum wage, and increased demand for services.
I'd argue that the logical and sensible course of action is for WHC to increase Council tax by £35 rather than create a separate 'tax', which will need additional resources to create, administer and enforce.
The argument is reinforced by the high probability of increased fly-tipping, bonfires, greater use of facilities, like Cole Green...generating additional work and costs. Plus, there will be some households which will opt out. All of which reduces the tax take / money available.
Common sense does not have any political affiliation or axe to grind.
Consequently, for WHC to proceed along this path suggests some other motivation - possibly a general policy shift towards pay-as-you-go council services; an intention to further reduce local government (as far as waste services go it would make more economic sense to organise and run on a much larger scale than district or even county level); an intention to create additional payment / income streams for political purposes (previous governments have claimed not to have raised / cut income tax - while increasing NI contributions, imposing VAT, increasing VAT..., and assume the electorate is too stupid to figure out the sleight of hand); to provide sufficient quantities of waste for the Hoddesdon incinerator (if the contract with Veolia is like the New Barnfield one, HCC would be liable for penalties if they didn't provide a guaranteed tonnage of waste annually - a liability that would ultimately be paid for by residents - which would have a political cost); or some other reason.