The Committee considered the Head of Environmental Services report which sought Member approval for the revised charging structure for the Bulky Waster Service and that it be recommended to Full Council for formal approval.
The Head of Environmental Services advised that the report identified 3 options for the future approach to charging for the service as follows :-
- Option 1: Continue the current approach
Continuing with the current projected annual increases in the manner in which
they have been implemented over the past three financial years would result in
an increasing funding gap between the cost of the service and the fees
received for the use of the service. Based on a similar uptake and an
increase in costs of 9%, as suggested by the budgetary uplift forecast of
GYBS, this would leave the council with a deficit of around £15,000 per
This approach minimises any negative financial impact on residents and will
provide residents with a lower costing service to other neighbouring districts
- Option 2: Make the service cost neutral
This would require an increase in the current charges to enable the service to
operate without requiring an increase in the numbers of collections required to
breakeven or have a detrimental impact on other parts of the GYBS budget.
The annual increase in fees would then be proportionate to the cost of the service.
This approach brings the service charges in line with other neighbouring
districts. The council runs the risk of the increased charges increasing the
number of items being fly-tipped. The council could introduce a discount for
those residents in receipt of benefits such as Universal Credit, council tax,
pension credit or housing benefit. This would mean that the cost of the
service would have to be increased to a higher rate to negate the reduction in
income received from those entitled to a discount.
- Option 3: Make the service cost neutral (staggered approach)
This will require increasing the cost of the service so that it is cost neutral to
the council as outlined in Option 2, but staggering the increase in charges
over a two-year period. This is likely to make the process more palatable to
the public, but would result in a continued loss of revenue to the council for an
A change in the charging structure to up to three items for a set fee would
help to set a base charge which would enable the council to cover costs. This
is the preferred option of 6 of the 8 local authorities whose charges were
considered as part of this paper.
By simplifying the charging structure to a 2 tier system, this should also help
to manage the costs as larger collections do have an additional cost to the
service as it requires more unloading stops to be added, increasing the time
taken to deliver the service and also the distance travelled over a collection
It was reported that all options would require an update on the Council's web pages to highlight the other options to disposal of good condition unwanted items before the option of the bulky waste collection.
Some concern was raised in relation to the number of residents that struggle to pay for collections at the current price, therefore it was felt than an increase would only cause further distress, Councillor Wainwright stated that in his opinion the review seemed premature in light of the current review of GYB Services, he also sought clarification as to why no income was received from the recycling of white goods the Head of environmental Services advised that this matter would be looked into.
Reference was made to HMO properties within the Borough and concern was raised in relation to the management of these properties in light of the amounts of rubbish left outside of the properties and the cost to the Council, although the Chairman pointed out that rubbish can only be removed if outside the property grounds as operators are not allowed to remove items from public property. The Strategic Director advised that work was currently being undertaken with Landlords and residents.
A suggestion was made that the report be deferred and brought back to the Committee once questions raised in respect of the income of white goods recycling.
That this item be deferred until the next meeting of the Environment Committee.