Councillors to vote on future of DIY waste charges today
PUBLISHED: 07:52 23 July 2018 | UPDATED: 10:58 23 July 2018
Councillors will today decide whether or not to scrap controversial DIY waste charges in Norfolk.
Members from both the Labour and Liberal Democract parties will put forward motions this morning to either scrap or suspend the fees at Norfolk’s recycling centres.
It means Norfolk County Council will have to vote on the issue at its meeting at 10am.
It comes as this newspaper revealed there had been thousands fewer visits to the county’s tips since the charges were introduced in April.
Meanwhile, figures show fly-tipping across Norfolk also increased after the fees came in.
Labour councillor Terry Jermy, who is putting forward a motion to suspend the charges, said: “We’ve sufficient evidence and enough reports to conclude DIY waste charges should be scrapped or at least put on hold pending a more comprehensive review.”
The county councillor for Thetford West said the issue needs to be addressed before it “escalates further”.
On April 1 Norfolk County Council removed a concession which allowed people to leave up to 80 litres of DIY waste at its recycling centres for no charge.
It means DIYers now have to pay £3 for getting rid of a bag of rubble and item of timber, and £9 for plasterboard.
Tim East, Lib Dem county councillor for Costessey, is proposing for the council to immediately stop the DIY waste charges.
His motion claims the fees have sparked “anger and confusion” from people.
He said: “The council will not meet its projected savings target and in doing so will put more clearing up costs on the district councils.
“In any good organisation this would be seen as a poor decision and be quickly changed.”
The council said the charges would save it £280,000 a year.
Earlier in July, council leader Andrew Proctor said any future decisions on the fees would be based on evidence.
An online petition calling for the charges to be axed has been signed more than 6,600 times.
Figures given to this newspaper show there were 35,866 fewer visitors to Norfolk’s recycling centres in April 2018, compared to April 2017 – a drop of 30pc.
Meanwhile, figures from six district councils in Norfolk reveal fly-tipping increased by 24pc from 930 incidents in April 2017 to 1,158 in April 2018.