Jul 29 2015

Let’s Try Again – Harrow Council’s Second Go at Brown Bin Charges

harrow_council_logo2Harrow Council’s Labour administration, having been chewed up and spat out by Conservative Leader Cllr Susan Hall over their first botched attempt at charging for brown bin collections, have now announced they’ve had a second bash at the scheme.

The new scheme drops the initial ’15 months for the price of 12′ offer, limits the subsidised collection to only those residents in receipt of Council Tax Benefit, and, perhaps worst of all, stipulates that the cost is £75 per collection year, regardless of when you leave or join the scheme.

That last point is important: the scheme runs from April to April, and for long-time residents who continue to need garden waste collected, it’s clear enough. But what happens when a resident moves house partway through the year, having paid their £75? Correct: they don’t get a refund. And the new resident who moves in – does he get a partial, pro-rata biull for the remaining months of the year that he needs colelction? Correct: they don’t – they’ve got to pay for the full year of collection, regardless of how long they’ve got to run.

Or, in other words, the council stands to double-dip, increasing it’s brown bin income by 100% from households who see a change of owner through the year.

Of course, it’s entirely possible that the council isn’t competent enough to have system in place to identify residents who move, and the presence of a brown bin outside a property may simply be collected: it could be that the council will use the bin itself an indicator as to who has paid, removing it for those households that haven’t.

No terms and conditions have yet been seen on the scheme – what happens when inclement weather precents bin collections? Or strikes? Or when the bin is missed? Will the council provide refunds or credits? What’s the defintion of ‘garden waste’ (if, indeed, that is the term they’ve settled on)?

And what happens to those residents who find their gardens littered by leaves from trees in neighbouring gardens – or neighbouring schools, parks, streets, etc – are they now to be charged for other people’s litter? Do they have to subscribe to the half-baked scheme to be able to deposit the council’s leaves into a bin for collection?

This scheme has so many holes, flaws, weaknesses and gotchas, that it’s doomed to fail before it’s even got off the ground – just like the first attempt did. But by making promises, and then ripping them away, it’s doing nothing to engender the cooperation or acceptance by residents.

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  1. Kieth Rookleedge

    What a mess!

  2. Dave

    The labour council of Harrow will find a loop hold to get this through with underhanded ways as they did with our parking in our road, there is no way I will pay for this.we need to back Susan Hall on this.

  3. Rosalyn

    Do we know yet whether those people in receipt of a state pension will still be exempt as they were under the 1st scheme?

  4. Susan Hall

    Thanks, Dave. That this charge would be an unfair tax on Harrow’s residents is one thing, but it makes it even more insulting that Labour have spent 9 months twisting and turning over how it will work and who will be exempt or get discounts. This is a lot of money to some people, and is a service they should rightly expect to get as part of their council tax.

    I would encourage any residents who haven’t already done as such to sign our petition on this. With deadlines now being pushed back, the more people who sign it the more pressure it puts on Labour to reverse their decision:


  5. Concerned Harrovian

    What is going to happen if only one household in the road is signed up for the £75 collection? Will the dustcart and crew turn out for one property? They may decide if only a few houses are signed up in an area to do them altogether on one day which would mean another collection day.

    Also what would happen if naughty neighbours decided to do some nocturnal dumping in other folks bins. This would mean a householder is paying for others in the street and maybe their bin could be refused if contaminated. What security arrangements are being made to counter this scenario?

    People on benefit (unless they have physical limitations) would have the time to take their rubbish to the tip and would not need reduced rates.

    Fly – tipping in Harrow will increase. Oh and when are they going to enforce the no spitting fines that were promised?

    Harrow’s anthem will be the children’s song. Don’t put your muck in my dustbin, my dustbin ‘cos my dustbins full!

  6. Susan Hall

    Concerned Harrovian I hear the same comments from residents and indeed customers at my shop. The truth is this is the most ill thought out policy they have ever come up with and believe me that’s saying a lot. Harrow Labour Politicians could not run a bath let alone a Council. The sad thing is us residents are paying a high price for their ridiculous and ill thought decisions

  7. Someonewhocares

    Yes, ‘To err is human’ – but then getting it wrong twice is surely unacceptable to everyone.

    Quite sure this has ‘bin’ said before but ‘their bin plan needs binning’!

  8. sonoo malkani

    Brilliant!”Their bin plan needs binning”.Will save us a lot of tears in the long run.Let Common sense prevail.

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