Residents in Gainsborough are to be charged from next year for having their garden waste collected.
The bin collections are currently funded from council tax contributions. But now West Lindsey District Council has decided to implement a fee, likely to be £35 per year, to follow in the footsteps of all other councils in Lincolnshire.
“The council has done its best to resist the need to charge for the service for many years,” said Coun Sheila Bibb, chairman of the council’s prosperous communities committee. “We have looked at other ways to bring income into the district, so we can protect services that residents value.
“However, as our grants from central government continue to be phased out and will stop altogether in 2019, we have to make tough decisions now.”
The decision to impose a charge, when fortnightly collections resume from April 2018, was made after a public consultation with householders.
Coun Bibb added: “I would like to thank everyone who took the time to complete the consultation. The feedback has helped us make this difficult decision.
“We want to be fair and to only charge those residents who actually use the service, rather than increase council tax for everyone. The consultation results showed that 71 per cent of residents agreed with this.”
The council is allowed to make a separate charge for garden waste collection, whereas general waste and recycling collections are compulsory services covered by council tax.
Letters will now be sent out to residents in the coming weeks, explaining why the change is taking place and what they need to do next. They will be able to sign up to the new scheme from January and to pay online, over the phone or at the council’s offices.
Councillors on the policy and resources committee will be asked to approve the recommended fee of £35 at its next meeting, scheduled for Thursday, December 14.