Saltcoats & Stevenston Independent councillor Ronnie McNicol has secured a review of Council charges for ‘special uplifts’.
In 2010 the Labour-run local authority began charging householders £12.00 for uplifts of up to five items, with additional fees applied for collecting larger quantities. However, as the3towns subsequently revealed, a Council report on the charges for special uplifts of household items, such as furniture and fridges, confirmed “the reduction in the number of service requests [for special uplifts] was significantly greater than anticipated”. In the report, North Ayrshire’s Corporate Director (Finance and Infrastructure), Ms Laura Friel, said, “the introduction of charges was anticipated to realise annual income of £215,000,” but the actual amount raised was just £76,185.
At last week’s Council budget meeting, Ronnie McNicol said the introduction of charges had led to a noticeable increase in fly-tipping in the Three Towns, and revealed it was costing the local authority more to remove items illegally dumped than they were taking-in from charges for special uplifts. Said Cllr McNicol, “Since it is apparent we are spending more cleaning up than we recover from special uplift charges, I propose the charges are removed.”
In response, Cllr David O’Neill, the Labour Leader of the Council, agreed to a review. While falling short of the requested removal of charges, Ronnie McNicol indicated he would agree to the review, provided it was carried out soon.
Saltcoats & Stevenston SNP councillor Willie Gibson then asked that the review should also look at the local authority’s recently-introduced policy requiring local residents to be in possession of a ‘Waste Permit’ to use amenity sites, in certain circumstances. Cllr Gibson raised concerns that the introduction of permits had also contributed to the increase in illegal dumping around the Three Towns.
For the Labour administration, Cllr O’Neill agreed the review should include the changes regarding dumping at Council-run amenity sites.