This year H&F Council’s garden waste collection service will cost residents £7.25. This is a new charge to residents introduced last year. This year it has been increased by 11.5%. It is little more than a stealth tax.
Up until the 2006 local elections the Labour Administration included the delivery and collection of the bio-degradable garden recycling bags in the council tax charge. It was easier for residents, it encouraged more people to take part in the Council’s compost recycling and it was less bureaucratic. Now, residents have to re-register each year in order to have their garden trimmings taken away – even if they have sacks left over from the previous year.
H&F Conservatives introduced this new charge to meet their budget cut targets. However, it’s been fraught with problems. Many residents still have bio-degradable bags left over from previous years and so just put them out on the pavement instead of registering with the Council. Some residents refuse to pay and now simply put out their garden waste in other bags and I’ve noticed increased levels of fly-tipping across the borough.
Dozens of residents have complained to my colleagues and me about this scheme. Not least about the time it now takes to register. This morning I called H&F Council to test out the process for myself. It took five minutes and fifty one seconds just for the phone to be answered. One resident told me she was on the phone for twelve minutes before she could get a person on the other end of the line. This does not appear to be a customer-friendly scheme. It isn’t working and my colleagues and I are calling on H&F Conservatives to ditch it.
I will let you know how we get on but, as usual, please let me know if you have any problems with this service by emailing me here.