Local Conservative politicians in Renfrewshire claim they are being ‘inundated’ with complaints from constituents regarding the introduction of a permit fee to collect garden waste.

Conservative group leader Councillor Neill Graham and the party’s environment spokesman Councillor James MacLaren say constituents are constantly getting in touch with them to voice their opposition to being charged £40 a year for a permit to collect their garden waste.

The charge was introduced by the Renfrewshire Council administration as part of their budget proposals in February, and will begin to
charge residents from Monday 10th July.

The two politicians say many Renfrewshire residents have been caught “totally off guard” by the new charge and that it is the “last thing they need” during a cost-of-living crisis, when general council tax bills have risen by six per cent too.

They also claim the extra charges will lead to a reduction in the recycling of garden waste as well as leading to an increase in fly-tipping across Renfrewshire.

Renfrewshire Conservative group leader Councillor Neill Graham said: “I am continuing to be inundated from constituents who are understandably angry at the SNP council in Renfrewshire introducing this garden tax.

“With council tax already going up by six per cent, further charges are the last thing local residents need during a cost-of-living crisis.

“It will be even worse for residents who have two brown bins, meaning they are facing a double whammy.

“I know from the correspondence I have received that many people have been caught off by these charges, which will come into force in a matter of days.

“These charges are simply a money making scheme for this SNP council, who have failed to stand up to their bosses in Edinburgh and demand a fair funding deal for our local authorities.”

Renfrewshire Conservative environment spokesman Councillor James MacLaren added: “This garden tax is the latest example of this SNP council asking Renfrewshire residents to pay more, to get less in terms of services.

“I know from my own ward that missed bin collections happen all too often, so I have very little confidence that this is going to improve, just by hitting residents with this £40 permit.

“We also have huge issues surrounding fly-tipping in the region and I have serious concerns that we’ll see a significant increase in these sort of incidents occurring as many people simply won’t shell out for these permits.

“Our council are cash-strapped thanks to the SNP’s savage cuts year on year, but imposing this garden tax is completely the wrong way to go about trying to boost their finances.”

Headline photo credit: Renfrewshire News

By Ricky Kelly

Main writer for Renfrewshire News

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