(Please note that Appendix 5 Contains exempt information)
Councillor G McAndrew, the Executive Member for Environmental Sustainability, submitted a report in respect of the implementation of a Chargeable Garden Waste Service. The report proposed that a chargeable service be implemented from 1 April 2021, which would provide the single largest contribution to the Council’s savings plan in 2021/22. It also means that the council would not be removing the service in its entirety.
Councillor McAndrew said that in January 2020, the option to charge for a green waste service was approved by Council as part of the medium term financial plan (MTFP). He said that an income of £400,000 had been identified for the 2021/22 financial year and the COVID-19 pandemic continued to have a significant impact on all Council budgets.
Councillor McAndrew referred to a greater challenge now to balance budgets and deliver statutory services to those who needed them. The purpose of this report was to seek approval for a service change, for the introduction of a charge for the collection of garden waste. He said that the collection of garden waste was a non-statutory service that the Council did not have to provide and the current financial position of the Authority left the Council little choice but to progress with this change.
Councillor McAndrew said that waste and recycling was the Council’s single largest expenditure and charging for a garden waste collection service would provide the single largest contributor to the savings plan in the MTFP. He said that charging would allow the Council to continue to provide a service to those who wanted it. Alongside this the Council would also promote a reduction in food waste and home composting, prior to introducing a weekly food waste collection service in 2023.
Councillor McAndrew said that the final recommendation in the report related to a commitment to reducing food waste, as approximate 70% of the food waste from UK households that entered the waste stream was edible. He commented on savings for the average family of four of approximately £60 a month as well as environmental benefits regarding reductions in carbon dioxide emissions just from the food being wasted.
Councillor McAndrew said that the recommendations needed to be agreed en bloc in order for the scheme to provide the projected financial returns for the Council. He said that any delays would have a detrimental impact on the Council’s finances. Councillor G Williamson, Executive Member for Financial Sustainability, referred to the £1.5 million gap in the Council’s budget that he had presented in the MTFP at a Council meeting in January 2020.
Councillor Williamson said that Members had recognised some years ago that financing the Council’s services would get progressively more difficult and savings had been made to ensure the Council could continue to deliver valued services at a lower cost. He said that there were no longer any easy savings to be made and a number of strategies had been put in place to secure extra income sources.
Councillor Williamson said that ... view the full minutes text for item 324