Residents in Wakefield face £10 charge for wheeled bins

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CASH-strapped Wakefield Council chiefs want to charge residents £10 to replace lost or stolen wheeled bins which are currently free of charge.

The council, which must cut £185m from its budgets by 2020, says the move is designed to help stop unnecessary requests for replacement bins and would save the local authority £29,000 a year.

Council chiefs say charging residents for replacement would also mean fewer bins would be left out on streets for long periods of time.

Councillors are due to vote on the proposed new charges, which could be introduced within weeks, at a cabinet meeting next Tuesday.

Leeds City Council does not charge householders for new or replacement bins.

Wakefield Council says it currently receives around 3,700 requests a year to replace missing or stolen bins.

The report to cabinet states: “Although the charge would not cover the cost of replacing the bin, which is estimated at £20, it would effectively deter unnecessary requests for replacement bins as demonstrated by the experience of other local authorities.

“It is anticipated that the level of charge should trigger few complaints and should result in few households refusing to purchase replacement bins on grounds of affordability.

“The charge would be increased annually in line with the revenue budget strategy.

“Residents can choose to purchase their own bins from a retailer supplier as long as they strictly adhere to size, colour and a quality specification as dictated by the council.”

The council has said damaged bins would continue to be replaced free of charge. And there will be no charge for bins when people move into a newly-built property.

Wakefield Council say a recent survey of local authorities shows the policy of charging to replace lost or stolen bins dramatically reduces requests for replacements. The report to cabinet states that Bradford Council started charging £33.60 for replacement bins in 2011.

The report reveals the move in Bradford resulted in requests for replacements for missing and stolen bins dropping 67 per cent from an average of 553 per month to 180 per month.

And the report says that requests for replacement bins in Nottingham dropped from 16,000 in 2009/10 to 6.600 in 2010/11 after a £10 charge was introduced. The report to cabinet states: “Wakefield Council has the power to charge for bins and also has the statutory duty to obtain best value.”

A spokesman for Leeds City Council said: “Leeds City Council does not charge householders for new or replacement wheeled bins.”

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