New bin charges in Peterborough defended but fears families will be targeted by arsonists

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New bin charges in Peterborough have been defended but there are fears that families will be targeted by arsonists.

Budget proposals from Peterborough City Council for the next financial year include increasing the £39 annual charge to have garden waste collected in a brown bin to £45.

Brown bins in Peterborough

Brown bins in Peterborough

Residents can also purchase a second brown bin for £25 which will be emptied for free.

Other proposals including charging people £25 for a replacement bin if they have one which is lost or stolen, while a set of bins for new properties will also cost the same amount.

In total, the proposals are expected to bring in £351,000 for the council in a single year.

However, UKIP member Cllr John Whitby has warned that forcing people to pay for a replacement bin could have unintended consequences.

Speaking at a debate on the budget, he said: “We are charging victims because their bin has been torched or stolen. Some families do get targeted for various reasons.

“We are now giving people the opportunity to hit them financially as well.

“You can see some poor people are going to have their bin torched on a regular basis. People are going to be victimised twice.”

Cllr Gavin Elsey, cabinet member for waste and street scene, said victims of offences on their bins can get a crime reference number from the police and claim the money back on their contents insurance, but Cllr Whitby said they would have still to pay an excess when claiming.

Cllr Elsey also responded to a question from Labour member Cllr Angus Ellis, who branded the brown bin charge the “garden tax” and asked whether there would be an increase in fly-tipping in Peterborough.

Cllr Elsey said: “All the research we’ve done from other authorities charging for replacement bins is they’ve not had an impact on fly-tipping.

“The reality is we have for a long time replaced bins free of charge. We are one of the only areas in the country which replace bins free of charge.

“We have a budget to balance and we have to make hard decisions.”

Werrington First member Cllr John Fox said: “I’m not interested by other councils. What about this council?

“In the north of this city green garden waste is being put in black bins and dumped in dykes more so than ever before you charged for a brown bin. Fact.”

Cllr Fox added that a load of garden waste in black bags had been dumped in Glinton.

In response, council leader and Glinton ward member Cllr John Holdich said it was not garden waste but waste from a cannabis factory.

Liberal Demcrat group leader Cllr Nick Sandford said: “I’m quite happy for charging for bins at brand new properties. It will be a tiny proportion of the cost of the house.

“But I do have concerns for the brown bin charge and brown bin replacement charge. Both of those are socially regressive charges.”

Cllr Sandford put forward a recommendation to reduce the proposed £6 increase in the charge for a brown bin but to begin charging for residents to have a second brown bin collected.

Cllr Elsey said that proposal would cost the council £70,000 as only about 10 per cent of properties in Peterborough have a second brown bin.

The recommendation was defeated by 12 votes to 15.


BUDGET: Brown bin charges up, limits on disposing DIY waste at Peterborough's recycling centre