Special meeting called to scrutinise green bin charges for Milton Keynes

MPMC Councillor Douglas McCall with green bin
MPMC Councillor Douglas McCall with green bin

A special meeting of Milton Keynes Council is to be held following the decision to ‘call in’ a proposal to charge for green bin collections.

It was decided to refer the matter to full council in June but the Lib Dem group has called for the issue to be resolved sooner.

Douglas McCall, Lib Dem Group leader, said: “We understand a meeting was scheduled for June but this is just not good enough. We can’t have a matter like this hanging over residents until then.

“This is a deeply unpopular plan and residents want to know where they stand.

“This is the first time I have callled for special meeting to be held in my 21 years as a councillor - this proposed charge has got to be reversed.

“A meeting will now be held on April 26 when I hope full council will force the Labour led administration to think again.”

The decision to charge for green bins was called in by opposition Conservative councillors and Lib Dem Councillor Sam Crooks.

They argued the council’s ‘waste strategy’ had not been properly scrutinised and that savings of more than £300,000 were wildly exaggerated.

Mr McCall added: “These proposals have not been properly thought through and will be bad for recycling in Milton Keynes.

“As the former Lib Dem Cabinet Member who introduced the green bins to MK it’s my view the Labour run council is making a mistake to charge

£33 per year for green bin collections from September 1.”

In a letter to the Citizen Mr McCall outlined the Lib Dems’ objections to the proposal which include:

> It will result in a decrease in recycling rates, which is against the Council Plan.

> There will be an increase in fly tipping.

> There will be an increase the amount of food and garden waste in black sacks.

> Some residents may resort to burning their garden waste and pollute the

environment.

> The increase in the tonnage of black sacks to the Waste Recovery Plant will mean

less capacity to use to charge other authorities, ie less income for the Council.

> There is concern at what will happen to all the unused green bins as the Council

does not plan to collect them.

> The garden waste vehicles will still have to cover the same number of roads, but

will be collecting less. How will this impact the contract costs? 

> The changes don't start making money until year 3, but if the assumptions are

wrong it could be year 4 or even year 5. It just isn’t worth the hassle.