THE jury is still out on a proposed ‘stealth’ tax on green waste as borough chiefs are committed to conducting a review into organic waste collection.
East Staffordshire Borough Council has declined to comment on whether a £40 annual charge on brown bin collections will go ahead, after angry rate-payers took to the internet to sign a petition against the proposal.
The controversial charge would see homeowners shelling out extra cash for what has been called a ‘stealth tax’ by the ex-leader of East Staffordshire Borough Council, Richard Grosvenor.
A spokesman for the borough council said: "The council, through it's corporate plan has committed to set up a cross-party group to consider the merits of producing a business plan for organic waste collection."
The new administration at East Staffordshire Borough Council, headed by Councillor Julian Mott, has pledged to review the previously axed pest control service, consider introducing the ‘living wage’ for staff and a business plan for organic waste collection.
The business plan may involve the bin tax and is to be considered in June or July of this year.
It will also find £15,000 from its existing budget to fund free swimming for under 16s at Meadowside Leisure Centre in Burton. The council also decided to spend an extra ‘one off’ £50,000 on neighbourhood development.
The new cabinet is aiming for a council tax freeze in 2015-16.
Councillor Grosvenor said: “This bin tax is a stealth tax equivalent to an 8.6 per cent increase in resident council tax for a service they already pay for.
“This charge should not be introduced as it will increase fly tipping, reduce recycling rates and impact all residents of East Staffordshire negatively.”
Greg Hall, of Abbots Bromley, said: “This charge will result in fly-tipping with many residents refusing to pay extra for the service.”
A petition against the increase is available to view at www.change.org