COUNCILLOR Luke Taylor, the Leader of Mid Devon District Council, has expressed concern over the recent decision by Westminster Government after the outcome of its 2021 consultation on recycling in England.

He says that he believes that the decision by The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to standardise recycling across local authorities will raise costs for the council and taxpayers as well as reduce recycling efforts in the region.

Councillor Taylor (LibDem), said: “When we took control of the Council in May, we had doubts about the three-weekly non-recyclable bin collection.

"However, we quickly realised that residents were using our recycling service effectively, leading to an increased recycling rate of 60 per cent.

"Thanks to this, Mid Devon is now one of the most successful councils in the country for recycling.

“Despite our success, the national average for recycling is only 44 per cent.

"We are disappointed that the Government plans to punish our performance and our local taxpayers efforts by imposing recycling standards that are outdated, late in announcement, and don't consider advances in technology and standards.

“Furthermore, I have concerns that the number of items that we currently recycle will reduce. I introduced small electrical item recycling four years ago and we have been looking to increase what can be recycled to include pots and pans and coffee pods. There are no reassurances that this will be kept and the number of items that residents are able to recycle could end up being cut.”

Cllr Natasha Bradshaw, the Liberal Democrat Cabinet Member for Climate Change, commented: "I am amazed how this Government spin a pro-environment story when it will undermine our local efforts to bolster recycling. The most recent Mid Devon results reinforce that three-weekly collections increase recycling rates, yet these new central government rules would not allow us to do that."

Councillor James Buczokwski, the Mid Devon Cabinet lead on finance said: “On one hand our Conservative Government want devolution and to pass the buck downwards as much as possible.

"On the other, they want to retain absolute control, with everyone paying more for a less efficient service.

"This move will lead to increased costs for both the council and taxpayers, with an increase in Council Tax likely being required to make up the deficit.

"This is desperation politics to appease Tory voters who did not vote in the Mid Bedfordshire by-election.”