Breckland Council looking to introduce a wheelie bin tax for residents in new mid-Norfolk homes

A proposed fee for wheelie bins could leave people moving into new mid-Norfolk homes paying more for their bins than they contribute in tax to the council that empties them.

Breckland Council hopes to raise �30,000 a year by charging newly-built properties for the receptacles. Existing homes would not be affected.

Two standard-sized 240l black and green bins would cost �62, while the biggest 1100l bin would cost �163.

The council aims to recover the costs from developers, but if they refuse to pay the new occupants will be charged.

Independent councillor Keith Gilbert said: 'We are asking them for �62 for two bins and the average band D council tax for this council is �55. We are asking people to pay in advance more for two bins than they would pay in council tax for us in a whole year.

'What are the front-line services we are helping to maintain by making cuts to this and other services?

'If you were to go out and ask anyone in Breckland what Breckland does I'm sure the first thing they would say is they take our rubbish away and a lot of people think we don't do much else apart from that.

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'If that's not a front-line service, what is? What are we trying to protect if the main front line service we are trying to protect is being cut?'

He also challenged a claim the policy posed 'no significant risks', and said Breckland could be left with rubbish in the streets, bad smells and rats if the council did not collect from people who refused to buy a bin.

Councillor Charles Carter warned 'the public will tear [the report] to bits' because its two and a half pages did not address the objections, but the overview commission meeting on Thursday April 26 rejected a call for more detailed information.

Cabinet member Lynda Turner said the council needed to introduce the fees to save money, and it was following the example of other local authorities.

Councillor Gordon Bambridge said: 'I don't see why in these straightened times [the council] should have to pay for these bins. When houses are built they should be part of the new house. It's �62. I think on the cost of a new house that's quite reasonable.'

The proposals, which have to be passed by cabinet and the full council, would come into effect on June 1, 2012.

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