Tip booking system has cost taxpayers almost £3m in Milton Keynes, claim Tories

But ruling Labour and Lib Dems have dismissed the claim as rubbish

Tuesday, 5th October 2021, 2:38 pm
Updated Wednesday, 6th October 2021, 10:49 am

MK Conservatives have rubbished the tip booking system, claiming it has cost local taxpayers almost £3 million since its introduction in June 2020.

They claim the system has cost the council £178,000 a month since it was introduced last year to provide social distancing during the Covid pandemic.

In fact, that’s what it costs to run the entire tip operation in MK - and before the booking system the cost was higher - £200k a month.

The cost of the tip booking system has caused a political row today

The Labour and Lib Dem Progressive Alliance, which recently agreed to make the booking system permanent, have been quick to point out that it has actually saved the council £220,000 since its implementation.

A Progressive Alliance spokesman said: “The MK Conservatives have today issued a press release claiming that the tip booking system has cost £3m. Sadly this is a complete and utter fabrication and a lie. While we are used to the local Conservatives twisting the truth, the statement today is utterly misleading.

"The total annual cost of operating all the tips is around £2.14m. We have saved £220,000 since the implementation of the booking system, however we are currently reviewing the booking system to ensure it’s the right thing to best on evidence. While we understand that the MK Conservatives do not agree with the tip booking system, the extent to which they are willing to lie over the issue is a sign of desperation when the facts do not suit their story.”

The Conservatives still say the true cost of the booking system could be even higher as the council has failed to consider the impact of an increase in kerbside waste because of less people disposing of their rubbish via the tips.

Across the country, other councils have been panning the tip book system. Neighbouring Council Central Bedfordshire axed the scheme recently while Lincoln Council binned theirs following evidence showing costly upkeep and a failure to meet the capacity of the tips.

Cllr Alex Walker, Leader of the MK Conservative group, said today: “It is unacceptable that the Labour-Lib Dem Council have spent £3 million operating a tip booking system where the only results have been a record year of fly-tipping incidents.

"It is time the Council opened MK’s tips up. We need to get the cost of fly tipping down and make it easier for people to drop off waste.”

The Progressive Alliance says the online booking system has helped make visiting the tip a better and less busy experience for residents.

It's also safer too as it prevents queuing on the road network surrounding MK's three household waste sites.

An MK Council spokesman said: "It costs us around £2.1m to run MK's tips each year, which includes transporting and disposing of all waste and recycling tipped in over 300,000 visits from local people.

"This is not the cost of introducing a booking system, which simply runs on the council's existing website.

"As well as keeping citizens safe during the pandemic, using a booking system has actually reduced costs by £220,000. We know before the system was introduced, residents and businesses from outside MK were taking their rubbish to our tips. This has put a stop to that burden and led more businesses to using our commercial services."