'It's ludicrous' - Banbury pensioner outraged by council's increase in brown bin subscription charges

A Banbury pensioner has called Cherwell District Council’s decision to increase the costs of brown bin garden waste subscriptions ‘ludicrous’.
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Sue Penfold of Chester Way says that she and many of her neighbours believe the increase in price is too much and worry that it will keep on rising.

Cherwell District Council introduced the brown bin licence at the beginning of 2022 for an annual fee of £36. Last year, the cost of the licence was raised to £39 if purchased before February and £43 if paid later.

Now the council has revealed plans to raise the price for the third year in a row to £49 per brown bin, regardless of when residents subscribe to the scheme.

Cherwell District Council will increase brown bin subscriptions next year to £49.Cherwell District Council will increase brown bin subscriptions next year to £49.
Cherwell District Council will increase brown bin subscriptions next year to £49.

Sue said: “It’s ludicrous. Everyone around my area is either disabled or a pensioner, as I am, and we could do without having to pay this extra money.

"It's hard work as it is when you live on your own and you're on pension. It annoys me that we have to keep paying more, and who is to say there won’t be another bin added next year for glass recycling, for example?”

Sue says she has been told by numerous neighbours that they will not pay the extra money and will use their green recycling bin instead for garden waste.

However, as a keen gardener, Sue says that when it comes to pruning her plants in the spring, she will not be able to use the green bins as there will be too much waste.

Sue said: “I spoke to six or seven people yesterday, and they are all of the same opinion that the price increase is disgusting. No one thinks the price will stay at £49; we all know it's going to keep increasing.

“Usually the council stops collecting garden waste over the winter, but this year they are saying they will continue all year.

"It’s a complete waste of money for the council to be collecting garden waste over the winter, as no one does gardening at this time of the year, and they will use these costs as a reason to increase the price more in the future."

The council’s brown bin subscriptions for 2024 will open on Monday, December 4 and will run from March 1, 2024, to February 28 2025.

Cllr Andrew McHugh, portfolio holder for cleaner and greener communities, said: “Since its inception, our garden waste service has proven very popular with residents in the district, and we’re thrilled to see so many people making the most of spending time outside, tending to their gardens and recycling the resulting waste.

“We have been looking at the cost of the scheme moving forward, and have looked at all possible options, taking the cost of living rises that have been affecting residents into account.

"Unfortunately, these same rises have affected the council, and due to the significantly high inflation, particularly the increases in fuel prices, we have had to make the decision to implement a slight increase in our prices. We have striven to keep our fees reasonable and fair, especially compared to many other councils, while ensuring we maintain a quality service.”

For more information or to register for next year’s brown bin subscription visit https://www.cherwell.gov.uk/recycling