NEW GARDEN WASTE CHARGES - LETTER TO COUNCILLOR MARTIN ROONEY, LEADER OF WDC COUNCIL AND REPLY FROM DAVID MCBRIDE
Alexandria Town Latest News
4th April 2024

NEW GARDEN WASTE CHARGES - LETTER TO COUNCILLOR MARTIN ROONEY, LEADER OF WDC COUNCIL AND REPLY FROM DAVID MCBRIDE

(This has also been sent to all other WDC Councillors)

Dear Leader of the Council,

Yesterday evening was Alexandria CC’s first meeting since West Dunbartonshire Council announced its budget for year 2024/25 on Wednesday 6th March 2024.

It was also the first opportunity to thoroughly discuss the new annual £60 charge for garden waste collection (brown bins) – which will be less this year due to this charge beginning in “summer 2024”.

As a Community Council we have many concerns about this decision.

  • The extra cost to residents for a permit in a cost-of-living crisis environment.
  • Garden sizes vary all over the area and many will have more than one bin.
  • Residents feeling that they are being unfairly penalised for looking after their gardens.
  • Brown bins in West Dunbartonshire are just not for garden waste but also for food waste – which will remain free of charge. This feels ill-thought out as brown bins in other local authorities are for garden waste only.
  • The policing of brown bins and how this can be done effectively.
  • The likelihood of contaminated bins rising. Won’t these be disposed off in the long-term anyway for health and safety reasons?
  • The likelihood of increased fly tipping.
  • Is there any plausible alternative to disposing of garden waste?

As stated in previous correspondence, Alexandria CC are aware that the Council are under considerable financial pressure but recommend a rethink on this initiative for the reasons explained above.

Regards,
Harry McCormack
Secretary
Alexandria Community Council
(date of letter – Thursday 4th April 2024)

REPLY FROM COUNCILLOR DAVID MCBRIDE

WDC RESPONSE ON NEW GARDEN WASTE CHARGE – COUNCILLOR DAVID MCBRIDE, CONVENER OF INFRASTRUCTURE, REGENERATION AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (IRED)

Hi Harry – As IRED Convenor I thought it would be best if I respond to your letter to the Council Leader.

Unfortunately, due to the years of underfunding of councils, which has been made worse this year with an unfunded council tax freeze we are left with no option but to cut services, which is disgraceful given the options now being considered.

Last current year (23/24) our budget was short of £21 million and this year (24/25) £17 million, whatever cuts which were agreed this will have a very detrimental impact on our communities.

We had no option that make significant savings while protecting the most vulnerable in society as best we can. I would direct you to the savings options not agreed last month. Charging for garden waste has been reluctantly introduced in a bid to protect other services. Due to continual underfunding and a decade of Council Tax freezes almost every council in Scotland now charges for this non statutory services.

I have pasted the link to the website with further information which will answer many of your questions. WDC Website [External Link]

You rightly state that food waste will continue to be collected with no additional charges, we are exploring other options of providing food caddies to this in future, grant funding from zero waste Scotland is being considered. If any resident has a larger quantity of garden waste I am also seeking to if we can provide garden waste composters to assist.

I appreciate the Community Council have concerns about the additional charge, I am very disappointed we have had too, I would welcome any feedback on what areas of alternative services that could have been cut to balance the budget.

Kind regards
David

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NEW GARDEN WASTE CHARGES - LETTER TO COUNCILLOR MARTIN ROONEY, LEADER OF WDC COUNCIL AND REPLY FROM DAVID MCBRIDE

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