Monday, 6 April 2015

Garden Tax and waste changes start from today


Brent Council's new waste collection service came into force today which includes the £40 annual green garden waste charge.  Lorraine Skinner, local environmental video artist and activist, has made the above video giving her view on the changes.

Meanwhile a resident on Barn Hill has sent a photograph of the dumping of garden waste near the car park at the top of the hill. She fears that there will be more as a result of people trying to avoid the charge.


Trevor said...

I am almost lost for words martin ; 0 (
I can understand why people consider the garden tax as unfair.
It is reasonable to assume that most of them are already struggling to pay the standard bills,
and then have more stress piled on by the council.
I understand the difficult position the council(s) are in,
i.e. less money from the government means they are forced to take more from the public,
but what if the public don't have much money to spare?
the situation is stressful and I can't see it improving?
because it is highly unlikely that the council(s) will "give the public a break" because that means the money the council has in surplus will have to be spent
and when that runs out?
the public are in a lose lose situation.
and its going to be very difficult for the labour party to convince the people to vote for them next month.
even if the coalition is thrown out next month,
whoever replaces them will have to find a way to sweeten the bitter pill we will have to swallow whether we like it or not.
in the mean time
don't be foolish and fold your arms and refuse to pay because you know you'll only make things worse for yourselves.

Anonymous said...

Why should people with Big houses and Big Gardens not force poor people to pay for their garden waste to be taken away. Its typical of Brent Labour to be fighting for the less well off rather than that of richer home owners. Thanks goodness for the Greens - they will help keep our recycling rates low and protect the rich. #TwigCrisis

Alison Hopkins said...

That's a silly comment from someone who I know is a rather silly Labour councillor. (Ironic how many of them live in very large, very expensive houses!)

If you think the rich live in houses with gardens, come and talk to those who live in houses in Dollis Hill, both rented and sometimes, owner occupied. They most certainly are NOT rich, but many take pride in their gardens and also often grow vegetables.

Anonymous said...

Okay Mr/Mrs #GardenEnvy. In the real world before planning departments started packing people into crates most properties had Gardens. Indeed, the areas which did not have Garden's before [such as ChalkHill Estate] now do have Garden's as they add to the area. The real question as alluded by Trevor is how much money will it cost to clear up the additional flytip and will that be more or less than the revenue raised. There was an article recently that not many people have taken up the council on its offer to buy in to the #GardenTax.

Anonymous said...

Why should people who want to send letters short distances have to subsidise those that want to send letters to Scotland? Why should people who are healthy with the occasionally cold pay for others with complex medical conditions?
Why should anyone rich pay for poor people? Its called civilised society Anonymous 7. April 2015 at 10:30

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see you get those in a green bin. Some people will use anything.

Anonymous said...

:-) tee hee

Anonymous said...

Slightly off topic but the council recently introduced parking charges at Northwick result everyone is parking in the streets around the open space, and the car park tonight was totally deserted...the point being...every time they introduce some kind of revenue generating scheme, people find a way round it, and it usually pisses some other group off !

Anonymous said...

I met Lorraine during my 9 years with Brent Council as Head of StreetCare until 2011. She was (and is) a very committed and intelligent person, but sadly too many residents just 'go with the flow' having lived in a poorly managed Council from the highest level.

I wish her well, and I wish I had such intelligent people here in sunny Hounslow.

Anonymous said...

With reference to a Freedom of Information request, ref:-
"The cost is not separated from the total cleansing cost and
this has been in the years 2012 -2014, i.e. £7.1m per annum."
And, so it will undoubtably continue..

Jaine Lunn said...

Like Lorraine, I too was a member of "Streetwatchers" back in the noughties, introduced when the Lib Dems were the Leaders of Brent Council. We campaigned vociferously for years to have compulsive recycling introduced and eventually were successful.

I live in a small block of flats that share a small communal garden which has grass, shrubs and trees.
Much of our organic green waste goes in the Composter and only the stuff we cannot compost goes into the green bin. Due to where I live my Green Bin has never been emptied unless I call to request it, which is usually about 3 times a year. I also doubt that many people have gardens of such a size that they have so much waste they warrant a collection every 2 weeks!

The Council are going to charge £40 per annum service which equates to approximately 21 collections = £2 fee per collection. I would have no problem paying £6 per year to have my green waste removed, but like most people I cannot afford a £40 increase in my council tax for the privilege and luxury of living in a property with a garden. I think that charging per collection would be a much better option to retain this valuable service.

As for the food waste caddies, ours sit outside our block as fresh as the day they were delivered and have not moved an inch, neither are they likely to be used anytime soon. No one buys newspapers in my block and we no longer have free ones delivered, with which to wrap up the cooked food waste. I personally will definitely not use one in my kitchen as its unhygenic to have rotting food hanging around for days. As the gulls, crows, foxes and rats that inhabit Wembley Central are extremely adept at opening food waste containers, either black bags or chewing through plastic it is only a matter of time for them to perfect their techniques and practice on the new caddies left outside our homes. Which in turn will leave the streets with rotting food strewn everywhere.

Sad to say in less than 7 years, we 're moving backwards, back to the times when excess green waste was put in the bottom of the Grey Landfill Bin covered with black bags, flytipped in our parks, streets and alleys, which in clearing up and disposing of will cost the Council more money as they will pay a higher tax for failing to reduce their landfill targets. Not to mention the waste of money taken in to account of the original cost of 50,000 or so Green Bins which are to be collected and stored somewhere.

Brent Council must now be high up on Private Eye's Award for "Rotten Boroughs" literally!

Unknown said...

Really enjoyed Lorraine Skinner's video. If:

1) There is evidence of Garden flytip already and
2) People will hide Garden Waste under black bags to send to Landfill (like the old days) as Jaine highlights, then there is a false economy.

Lorraine points out that the it costs £7Million a year for Brent Council to send waste to Landfill, if we increased recycling by 10% we would save 700K a year which is more than enough to cover the £400K a year allegedly 'saved' by the Garden Tax. We'd also not be increasing costs through garden waste sent to landfill or additional costs related to flytip.

Although we already know environment is not a concern for Brent Labour as they've cut the Environment department and also funding to the Welsh Harp Environmental Education Centre.

Anonymous said...

Biodegradable kitchen caddys

Emma Pierce said...

OMG!!! I don't think that this charge is necessary. After all there are taxes for almost everything. I hope that there won't be breathing tax soon!