Question 24/24


Could you please explain why Rother charge £81 pa for their garden waste collection service and Wealden only £60 !


This Council, along with many other Councils across the country, is facing unprecedented financial challenges and we must do everything we can to try and deliver a balanced budget while at the same time protecting those services which our residents tell us are important.

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 Council does not have a statutory duty to provide a garden waste collection service but rather it is a service the Council can choose to provide and at a cost set at their discretion.  Residents have a choice as to whether they use this service or not and it is provided at their request. If people are not happy with the level of charging, they can choose not to use the service.

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.

Although it may be more expensive than Wealden Borough Council, the proposed charging levels are in line with a number of other local council areas including Mid-Sussex District Council (£85), Hastings Borough Council (£82), and Eastbourne and Lewes Borough Council (£80).

The Council has also given a significant discount on any additional bins which will be charged at £66.

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