Councilor calls for monthly direct debit option to allow struggling Northampton residents to pay for brown bin service amid cost of living crisis
“Why can’t residents pay for the brown bin waste collection service in Northampton via monthly levies?” asks an adviser concerned about the cost of living crisis.
The £42-a-year subscription service started on April 4 for those who want the council to empty their garden bins every fortnight.
The scheme covers West Northamptonshire and those in the former South Northamptonshire District.
However, Independent Councilor Julie Davenport, from Far Cotton and Delapre ward, asked West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) if instead of paying the £42 lump sum, residents could pay a £3.50 monthly levy on a 12 month period.
Councilor Davenport said: “How can we say we understand how people are struggling but we’re not helping them in this simple way?
“As we all know, the cost of living is increasing for people, which is seriously affecting people with very low incomes. Residents tell me they would like to have the brown bin collection facility for all their yard waste, but they tell me they can’t afford a one-time payment.
“WNC only gives households the money the government has given to WNC. Where is WNC’s contribution to the financial struggle residents are facing? What are people supposed to do with all their yard waste if they can’t get to the recycling centers?
“Those on council properties (NPH) have to maintain ‘their gardens’ or be in breach of their contract, but where are their garden waste supposed to go?
“On the one hand we say we understand how people are struggling, but we expect people to suddenly find £42 to pay for brown bin collections. At least they are willing to pay for it. residents just need help paying for it during the It will bring more revenue to WNC if more people subscribe due to monthly payments.
In an email seen by Chronicle and echoa council cabinet member told Cllr Davenport that WNC has not put in place the “IT system that will allow us to do what you and your residents are looking for at this time”.
To which, Cllr Davenport replied, “If the IT system can’t allow for a monthly payment, why not allow those on rent/tax relief to receive the service for free?”
The council says it is “reviewing” payment methods.
A WNC spokesperson said: “The board is currently reviewing payment methods for all services and will consider this as part of this review.”