Question 19/24


 I note that the price for a garden bin collection is to rise from £55 to £81, a 26% increase. I’m wondering how RDC can justify such a huge increase? It’s outrageous hike in a service which will presumably increase again next year. More fly tipping?


Further to the budget report dated 5 February 2024, it has been confirmed that the Garden Waste collections annual subscription charge will rise from 15 July 2024 to £81.00 per annum for the first container and £66.00 per annum for each subsequent container. It is appreciated this is a large increase, but this is an optional service, and at 22 pence per day, the service continues to offer good value for money. Our ability as a district council to generate income through additional council tax is limited. We must therefore find different ways to deliver and fund our services to try and meet the needs of residents. These increases come following years of funding cuts, soaring costs, and greater demand for services. Despite the use of the Council’s limited reserves we have still needed to identify almost £3 million of efficiency savings and additional income from investments and fees and charges to help balance our budget.

Our waste contract has increased by £1 million over the last 2 years and now costs us more than £6 million due to the significant inflationary pressures the country has been experiencing.

We are seeing similar challenges with the costs of homelessness and temporary accommodation which have tripled over the last 4 years from £0.6 million to £2 million. This is after taking account of government grant and the many initiatives the council has introduced to try and manage these costs.  The costs of these two service areas alone represent around 40% of the Council’s net revenue budget for the 2024/25 financial year.

There are further challenges to come with the introduction of mandatory food waste collections from 2026 and at this time it is not clear what the additional costs of operating this service will be and how it is to be funded. This will be a statutory function which the Council will have to deliver.

The garden waste service is a non-statutory, optional service provided to residents at their request. It is with regret that the Council has needed to make this increase, but it is felt that at a cost of 22 pence per day the service still represents good value for money.

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