B&NES Council Leader, Kevin Guy, has announced that the Lib Dem administration is putting on hold the proposed charges for rubble, plasterboard and tyres at recycling centres.
Speaking at the first in-person meeting of B&NES Cabinet since February 2020, Councillor Guy said:
“As Leader, and as a common sense guy, I know how important it is both that we listen to residents and that we respond swiftly to changes in circumstance.
“Two things have changed happened since the decision was made to introduce charges for rubble etc at recycling centres.
“First, I was elected Leader and I reaffirmed that we are a listening council. Cllr Wood and I have listened to local residents and parish councils who say they are concerned about the unintended consequences of these charges.
“Second, circumstances have changed. The government have launched a consultation about consistency in recycling services in England.
“Bringing in charges now, only to change them later following government instruction, would be confusing for residents and would add to our officers’ administrative burdens. It would make no sense. And I’m a common sense kind of guy.
“That’s why I am announcing today that we are putting on hold the charges for rubble, plasterboard and tyres at recycling centres. Charges will not be introduced next week.
“We will look again at how to make alternatives savings to balance the Council’s budget. As Liberal Democrats we pride ourselves on being the only party that balances the Councils books every year.
“I’m pleased the government is seriously looking at new rules that would mean a ‘win-win’ for council taxpayers and DIY-ers whilst helping us deliver our recycling and climate emergency commitments.
“It’s time we started thinking differently about who pays for recycling. We need new funding streams so that council taxpayers in areas such as ours which prioritise recycling of a wide range of materials don’t lose out.
“So, we will also be lobbying central government for new legislation so that funding to recycle these materials comes from producers rather than council taxpayers.
“There is strength in listening to different views, there is wisdom in changing our mind when circumstances change, there is integrity in balancing our books, and there’s common sense in the pause to charging we are announcing today.”