If you live in Burnley and are fortunate enough to have a garden you have just had to stump up either £25 or £30 to have your “green bin” emptied.
If you live in Pendle, you have been paying for that privilege for some time and will be getting a reminder letter about the scheme in the next few days.
For a variety of reasons I “escaped” the charge when I lived in Pendle.
For a variety of reasons I know I was the first to pay the new levy in Burnley.
And for a variety of reasons I am not happy about the situation.
The charge came about in Pendle under a different administration to the one at the helm now.
The charge has come in Burnley with a council of a different political hue, so there is nothing party political about my dissatisfaction with the new system.
I understand the financial strictures being placed on both local councils and know, as much as the next man can know, just how hard the councils at borough and county council levels are finding it to balance the books.
But that doesn’t stop me from having a gripe about it and the gripe is this.
Because I have a garden my council tax band is higher than a house that doesn’t.
The difference between the two, about 200 quid.
I know that the local council doesn’t get anything like all of that money. But one council collects waste on behalf of the other, so they are getting that £200 between them.
I still pay for education through my council tax although my kids are in their 30s.
I still pay for libraries although the two most convenient for either home or work are closed.
I don’t get any discount for services I don’t use, so why should I have to pay extra for the one service that I do actually both use and need?
The size of the payment is not the point.
It is the principle of being charged in the first place.
I got in early and paid £25. But I can think of many other things I would rather have spent that money on.