DCSIMG

Unconvinced by value of charges

So far I have nothing but praise for Horsham District Council’s green waste collection scheme. The operatives collect it as required and, up to the present time, my bin has not been lost or damaged.

Of course, I can see why the council is proposing a charge for this service, given the present economic climate, but I can also see problems ahead for its implementation.

For example, how will the operatives know which bin is ‘paid for’ and which isn’t? Also, in many areas bins are put out collectively without any indication of ownership.

It would be naive of the council to suppose some residents wouldn’t try to have their bin emptied without paying for it. So – will the council be issuing stickers for bins where residents have paid and, if so, this itself creates a further layer of additional office/overhead cost which the current scheme does not have and which would be ongoing, as new stickers would be required every year.

Sad to say, but this is also likely to lead to situations where those who do not wish to pay will seek to put their green waste into the bins put out by those who have.

How has the council arrived at the cost of £29 per annum (it smacks of a £30 figure being a plucked out of the air, but reduced by £1 to make it look better)? Is this based on a 50 per cent up-take, or 60 per cent, or what – as this will have direct affect on the cost per household?

What happens if less residents take up the scheme than estimated for – will the council then have to increase the cost immediately? Of course, there is no doubt that the cost will be increased every year, as a form of taxation.

It should be recalled that, many years ago, the Government brought in a road tax for cars – on the basis that the money raised would go towards repairing and improving the roads. Is wasn’t long before this charge was just swallowed up into the Government’s purse to be used wherever they liked.

I have grave reservations that this is what will become of the ‘green waste charge’ – eventually it merely becomes an additional element of the council tax.

Despite this scepticism, there is an argument which says that those who want the scheme should pay – it shouldn’t be funded out of the general council tax. However, this may be countered in that we all pay taxes for some services that we do not all enjoy, whether by council tax or income tax.

Whether we like it or not, we all pay into the general ‘melting-pot’ and I cannot see why this local service should be treated any differently from any other. I remain unconvinced that the proposals will herald significant financial savings and, in practical terms, implementation may bring unnecessary problems.

BRIAN CORNFORD

Lower Street, Pulborough

 

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