Milton Keynes green bin charge trashed in council U-turn

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Controversial plans to charge for green bin collection have been SCRAPPED, the Citizen can reveal.

Despite hotly defending the £33 a year charge, Labour Cabinet members agreed on Tuesday it should be binned.

In a waste collection coalition with the Liberal Democrats, they have come up with other ways to reduce the refuse budget – with much of the savings coming from cutbacks in pink sacks.

An online re-ordering and delivery service will be launched to stop people “misusing” the pink recycling sacks, said council leader Pete Marland.

Pink sack provision will cease totally for flat dwellers using Eurobins .

Pete said: “I am disappointed that our original proposal to introduce charging for garden waste could not be accepted. I still believe that it is the most financially efficient way of achieving the required funding.”

He added: “However we recognise that it is difficult and has met with opposition. I have always said this is not a matter of principle, but a matter of finance for us.”

Lib Dem leader Douglas McCall said:“We opposed the introduction of charging for garden waste. However we understand that funding has to be found from somewhere, and although the alternatives are still difficult, we believe they are better than charging for garden waste.”

Cllr Marland concluded: “We have had to cut £130m from our council budget in recent years, there are no easy choices to make, but it is important to listen to alternatives.

“If the Lib Dems had not worked with us we’d have had no option but to charge for green waste, but they did and although the alternatives are difficult, we no longer intend to proceed with the charge.”

Hard-up MK Council has been forced to cut £130m from its budget over the past few years. Charging for green bin emptying would save £332,000 a year.

Residents could opt out paying the £33 charge by not having their green bins emptied at all. But Conservatives predicted this would cause chaos.

MK Council has 22 Tories, 22 Labour and 13 Lib Dems. City Tories called in the green bin decision and say the U turn would never have happened without their action.