DEVON County Council's lead Member for waste says it's unfair to ask all council tax payers to pay for the DIY waste of those who can afford to make their own home improvements.
Councillor Roger Croad commented following a Government announcement on June 22, stating its intention to stop councils charging for DIY waste at Household Waste Recycling Centres.
Devon County Council introduced charges for some DIY waste in 2011, in response to swingeing cuts to local council's funding.
The council said then that by introducing charges for items such as kitchen and bathroom refurbishments, those costs would be met by households who can afford to make such home improvements, rather than the general public.
The Government’s decision will mean that Devon County Council will lose around £1 million income - money it uses to maintain the comprehensive service across all of its 19 Household Waste Recycling Centres in the county.
Plans therefore to stop councils charging for DIY waste will make it harder for Devon to maintain the Household Waste Recycling Centres service as it is. The council has said previously that such changes could mean it having to consider reducing opening hours.
"I am very disappointed with the Government's announcement," says Councillor Roger Croad, Devon County Council's Cabinet Member with responsibilities including waste.
"We introduced charges for DIY materials at a time of austerity to make financial savings in order to be able to continue to offer a comprehensive county-wide network of Household Waste Recycling Centres.
"We will have to see the details of what is now being proposed before considering its impact on our budget and our service.
“The disposal of waste comes at a cost. It doesn't seem right that all council tax payers should have to pay for waste from people who can afford to carry out their own home improvements. There will be many residents who will feel aggrieved at helping to pay for other people’s home improvements.
"Public finances are already stretched and this will add to our financial burden."
CLA PLEASED WITH DECISION
The CLA South West – which represents the interest of farmers, landowners and rural businesses in Wiltshire, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire and Somerset – welcomes the government's move as it believes farmers and private landowners often pay the price for fly-tipping.
Incidents of fly-tipping on private land are not included in official DEFRA figures, yet this is where an increasing amount of waste is dumped.