Sandhurst residents lose brown bin Ombudsman battleBy Jennie Slevin
December 06, 2012
Neighbours fighting council charges on a garden waste collection scheme have lost their battle.
Members of Sandhurst Residents’ Association (SRA) reported their issues with Bracknell Forest Council’s brown bin collection to the Local Government Ombudsman, following claims the council breached its contract over garden waste.
David Vousden, SRA secretary, said: “We knew we were up against a brick wall, but we had to make the point. There were a lot of people who where quite upset about it, but the council have chosen not to recognise that.”
The association believes the council broke a contractual agreement with people who paid a one-off £30 fee for a brown bin, when the decision was made to introduce a new collection charge of an extra £30 per year.
The ombudsman ruled the council was not at fault and had not entered into a contractual agreement.
David said: “We have never been against the £30 collection charge, but a lot of people believed they had a contract with the council.”
The 67-year-old added: “We shall continue to make sure the council knows we are looking at what they are doing.”
Councillor Paul Bettison, Bracknell Forest Council leader, said: “It’s always pleasing when the Ombudsman doesn’t find fault with the council and I’m very pleased about the council’s extremely good record.” He continued: “Why should your council tax pay for garden waste if you live in a first floor flat?
“How is it fair that you should pay for somebody who lives in a detached house to have their extra waste removed?
“It was just about being fairer. Unfortunately, Mr Vousden didn’t understand that.”
Cllr Bettison added: “Although we’re now charging, we’re still asking for a lot less than many other councils.
“Wokingham charges twice as much as us and only takes a couple of sacks, we take a whole bin.”