Green bin rebels

Former Mayor John Breeds is leading a campaign against a proposed charge for green waste collection in Rother
Former Mayor John Breeds is leading a campaign against a proposed charge for green waste collection in Rother

ROTHER is facing a backlash of green waste bin rebels after announcing it will charge extra on top of council tax to collect garden waste.

This week former Rye Mayor Cllr John Breeds added his voice to the growing anger by refusing to pay the annual £25 collection fee.

And the discontent mounted this week with news that two of Rother’s partner councils, Eastbourne and Wealden, have no intention of charging their residents extra. The situation has been likened to a garden waste lottery.

Cllr Breeds, who finished a two year term as Mayor in May, said: “I am livid. Everyone I have spoken to is up in arms about this and are asking to have their green waste bins taken away.

“My wife and I phoned Rother Council and told them we are not going to pay because we are not going to be penalised for having a garden. As far as I am concerned they can come and take their green waste bin back.

“They say it is only £25 a year, but it is the principle and to most people principles are extremely important.”

Cllr Adam Smith said: “Could this not be seen as public money subsidising a private enterprise. I find the disparity between the districts difficult to comprehend.”

Rye, Rother councillor Sam Souster said: “My view is that it should be part of the community charge.”

What has incensed tax payers are comments from Rother leader Carl Maynard who said that the system was fairer as not every council tax payer uses the green waste collection.

This led to angry residents pointing out that if anyone could claim a council tax reduction for services they don’t benefit from the charge system would fall apart.

The proposed charge has also been slammed by Battle Town Council.

Cllr Maynard had said: “Residents will receive several major benefits through a charged-for green waste service.

“The system is certainly fairer. Not everyone uses green waste collections, such as those without gardens, yet currently all residents meet the cost through their council tax.

This would no longer be the case, with only those who use the service paying.”

Cllr Maynard added: “The new service will enable us to improve the amount of recycling collected and enable us to take a much wider range of materials, which is a huge positive for the district.

“We also have to take into account Rother’s financial position, and in the face of almost £2 million of cuts from central government, there is a need for income generation to protect our many other services which the public expect us to provide.”