‘We’ve made so much progress - but it could all be at risk’

Milton Keynes Council
Milton Keynes Council

A councillor has slammed plans to charge households for green waste as the council reveals how it will find savings of £22million.

Councillor Ric Brackenbury believes the council’s progress over the past few years could be “at risk” as today’s proposals were announced.

The Labour-led council wants to introduce a charge of £36 per year for garden waste collection.

For those who choose not to pay, households will be supplied with food caddies to enable food waste collection and a freehome composter at their request.

Garden waste can still be taken free to recycling centres, say the council.

Mr Brackenbury, spokesman for Lib Dem finance, said “I’m worried what these proposals will mean for recycling and rubbish collection – charges for green waste, no more pink sacks and closed recycling centres.

“We’ve made so much progress over the last few years and it could all be at risk now.

“The budget committee will be going through this budget in detail to find every improvement we can.”

Labour leader Pete Marland says the council has to work “smarter and harder” as they continue to make tough choices in light of continuing budget cuts by the government.

He said: “We believe the proposals in this budget balance the our priorities, such as tackling homelessness, supporting he voluntary and charity sector and protecting community services with the need to make some really tough decisions whether it is on pink sacks or adult social care changes.

“None of these are easy and that is why we want to get people engaged in these decisions, help them understand why we are having to do make them and how they can influence the final decision.”

The proposals will be debated by Cabinet on December 14, and if approved will be open to public consultation from 15 December 15 to January 20, 2016.