Fenland councillors to discuss brown bin plans

Brown wheelie bin EMN-151130-165422001

Brown wheelie bin EMN-151130-165422001

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Fenland councillors are due to discuss proposals to begin charging for its brown bin service this week, as opposition against the idea grows.

Fenland District Council has arranged a members’ seminar, which is not open to the public, to look at the controversial garden waste plan on Thursday afternoon.

It comes as an online petition urging the authority to re-think the £40 annual charge proposal reaches more than 1,200 signatures.

As reported in last week’s Citizen, the petition was launched by Chatteris resident Lawrence Weetman, who claimed the plan would hit Fenland’s poorest families and disabled people the most.

He also accused the council of introducing the brown bin fee as a “back door way” of increasing its portion of the council tax bill.

This week he said he had been “overwhelmed” by public support for the petition.

“Many people are concerned about how this new charge will disproportionately harm vulnerable groups in Fenland, and I find it encouraging that they are expressing their support in the comments on the petition,” he said.

“I’m encouraged Fenland Council has arranged a meeting regarding this issue,” he added. “I’m hopeful that because of the petition the debate will be conducted with the knowledge that this is a decision many people are strongly opposed to.”

Mr Weetman said through the petition, many people had spoken of their anger at the plan as they witness “the tangible benefits of paying council tax gradually erode away”.

Many others had expressed their worry at being able to afford the charge and concern that the proposal could lead to more fly-tipping.

The petition is available at www.change.org