Vehicle charges scrapped

Councillor David Kirkham of Nottinghamshire County Council
Councillor David Kirkham of Nottinghamshire County Council

The county council is set to shelve plans to charge car drivers for disposing of building waste at its recycling centres, after listening to feedback from residents in its budget consultation.

The proposal would have seen charges of £5 per load for small cars and £10 for MPVs and estate cars introduced to dispose of construction and demolition waste such as soil, hard core, gravel, bricks and ceramics.

Nottinghamshire County Council does not have a statutory duty to accept this type of waste at its recycling centres and many people hire their own skip to dispose of waste when they are having work done to their property. It’s estimated the charge would have generated £100,000 towards the council’s costs of handling and disposing of the waste.

However, nearly half (49 per cent) of people responding to the authority’s budget consultation were opposed to the new charging plans, with 39 per cent in agreement.

Of the 28 budget saving options the council was consulting on, this was the only proposal which had more respondents disagreeing with it, than agreeing.

Councillor David Kirkham, chairman of finance and property committee, said: “The council needs to look carefully at every £1 it spends and decide if it can continue to provide services that it is not legally required to, or, as was being proposed in this case, recoup some of our costs by introducing a charge.

“However, people have told us they think the charges are unfair to members of the public who are carrying out small-scale renovations at their home - a view we sympathise with - so we’ll be recommending that they are not implemented.”

A funding shortfall of £62m over the next three years was reported to the council’s policy committee in December 2015. Since then, additional cuts to Government funding, rolling forward of the Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) and additional emerging cost pressures increased the funding shortfall to in excess of £125m.

However, savings proposals and new ways of generating income in 2016/17 were developed by councillors from four of the council’s political groups. These proposals will generate savings of around £20.6m, if they are fully implemented.