Decision to charge for green bin collection in Milton Keynes could be reversed

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Milton Keynes Council was forced to think again on their plans to put charges on green bins and cut pink bag provisions.

Opposition Conservative councillors together with Kents Hill and Monkston Parish Council had called in the council’s ‘Waste Strategy’ on the grounds that it had not been consulted on with the public.

SEE MORE: ‘We’re right to charge for green bin collection’ says Milton Keynes Council

They added that proper scrutiny process had not been followed and that the expected savings of just over £300,000 were wildly overestimated.

The committee considering the call-in met on Wednesday evening (March 29) with the public gallery packed as resident after resident spoke out against the proposed changes.

After hearing the ‘overwhelming’ opposition, the committee sent the ‘Waste Strategy’ to full council for further consideration in June before a further decision can be made.

The cabinet were also urged to conduct a widespread consultation to get the real views of residents as soon as possible.

SEE MORE: Will there be mutiny over Milton Keynes green bin charge?

Councillor Edith Bald welcomed the decision, she said: “This was a real success for residents across Milton Keynes and frankly for common sense.

“There are so many unanswered questions leaving us all with a compete lack of confidence in this strategy.

“I don’t understand why the council would want to punish the poorest and most vulnerable, reduce recycling rates and run the risk of an increase in fly tipping for a plan that doesn’t need to exist and will only save, if anything, a very small percentage of the council’s overall budget.

“I hope the cabinet will think again and I look forward to continuing to fight the strategy at full council in June.”

However the council has recently defended the proposed charge, Martin Gowans, the councillor responsible for waste and recycling said: “We are one of the few councils to continue to offer a weekly waste collection, with some councils now moving to three or even monthly collections due to the cuts.

“Keeping MK clean and tidy starts with a good waste collection service and a Labour-led MK Council is making sure we continue our excellent waste collection service here in MK.”

Council leader Pete Marland added: “I’m pleased we will be retaining weekly bin collections. It is an example of how we have listened to the public and ensured we are delivering the services people want.”