One of the most egregious new rules brought in by Surrey County Council is to start charging people for disposing of certain types of waste at their local recycling centres even though the cost of waste disposal is supposed to be included as part of our Council Tax.
With the County Council elections coming up next May, UKIP pledge to scrap this new charge if elected. Read on to learn why;
This new charging idea has been widely criticised, so to try and get in a ‘pre-emptive strike’, the Council have announced that fly-tipping in Surrey has ‘plummeted’ despite the new charges which were brought in just over a month ago.
Firstly to make this claim after just one month is plain silly.
Secondly, by extension of the logic that charging people to dispose of rubbish reduces fly-tipping, can we expect more charges on more items to be introduced in the future?
Thirdly, as has been pointed out in the comments to the news item on Get Surrey it’s as much about the number of incidents as the weight – a large part of the clean-up cost is the cost of disposal teams.
Fourthly, I’ve heard from a parish Cllr across in East Surrey who said that when they saw dumped tyres they just took them to the recycling centre rather than leave them littering the village, but now it is going to cost them £8 a go they are unlikely to be doing this any more.
I made a Freedom of Information request to Surrey County Council asking how much money they expect to make from these new charges and was amazed to find that they expect to net just £650K per year.
While this may seem a lot, the Council budget for spending each year is around £1,670 million so the revenue amounts to 0.04% of the budget – effectively nothing.
Also, they confirmed that their calculations had made NO provision for ANY increase in fly-tipping.
Of course it’s the Borough councils that have to pick up the cost of fly-tipping, while the County Council trousers this new revenue.
Last weekend I visited my local recycling centre in Wilton Road, Camberley and noticed that new signs have been put up stating operatives are now wearing body cameras and that abusive behaviour and language aimed at staff will not be tolerated – clearly these new charges have not been very well received by the general public.
The other interesting thing about the Get Surrey article was the number of reported incidents of fly-tipping in 2014/15 across the County.
This ranged from 1,188 in Tandridge to just 191 in neighbouring Reigate and Banstead. I find it incredible that a borough can have 6-times more fly-tipping events than its neighbour. This says to me that there is a big discrepancy in the way that different councils classify these events – which makes the statistics dubious at best.
So don’t forget – if you want this new charge scrapped, you need to Vote UKIP on May 4th 2017.