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Task force to assess garden waste collection in West Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 08:59 12 June 2018

A review will take place over brown bin charges in west Suffolk Picture: GREGG BROWN

A review will take place over brown bin charges in west Suffolk Picture: GREGG BROWN

A task force has been set up at councils in west Suffolk to review whether its garden waste scheme is working.

Andrew Speed said the scheme had been successful to date Picture: ARCHANTAndrew Speed said the scheme had been successful to date Picture: ARCHANT

Forest Heath and St Edmundsbury councils began charging £40 a year for garden waste collection from April 2016, as a result of changes to funding for organic waste and expected increases in costs.

With a new funding structure in place with Suffolk County Council – which has responsibility for waste disposal – from April 2019, a review of the scheme is set to take place.

Last week, St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s overview and scrutiny committee gave the go ahead for a task and finish group to be formed to assess the scheme and make recommendations for 2019.

Andrew Speed, Conservative councillor for the Abbeygate ward, said: “The scheme has been a great success and heading into the review we should steer away from tinkering with it too much.

“It must work efficiently – it’s a small amount of money and that should be remembered.”

He added that is must be kept simple in order for it to remain as user friendly as possible for residents.

The report prepared for the meeting said around 30,000 households had signed up each year, which was generally in line with numbers expected.

The group will consider any opportunities to make the process simpler for people when they are paying or making applications to, as well as any need to change collection days, payment options and online information.

Currently, £40 per year is charged from April for the financial year – a figure that decreases incrementally each month as all subscriptions finish at the end of March.

The review will take place between July and October this year, before feeding back its findings to the overview and scrutiny committee and shadow executive in November.

Mark Christie, service manager for business at the council added: “We do have a better understanding of the performance of the service [after three years].”

He added: “It’s more to build on the success we have had to date.”

It is not yet known if the price will increase.

Collections in Ipswich are still free, while Waveney and Suffolk Coastal charge £43 and a Babergh and Mid Suffolk subscription costs £55.

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