Liberal Democrats are cock-a hoop at Sefton Council’s proposed U-Turn on the £46 Green Bin Tax.
The Council was proposing to charge this amount to raise £1 million per year from 2014-2015 and Labour councillors voted for it at Sefton’s February 2013 budget meeting.
The Bootle Labour Councillors, who were planning to impose this back door 3 per cent Council Tax rise, mostly on Southport, Formby and Maghull residents, have ‘turned turtle’ after a relentless Lib Dem campaign which has seen Labour suffere the biggest by-election loss in the country in the past 3 years partly as a result of this issue. In July there was a 26 per cent swing from Labour to the Lib Dems in the two Maghull Town council wards that make up Sefton Council’s Sudell Ward.
Southport Councillor Tony Dawson, who started off the campaign with a survey in Hope Street, Southport, in May, is presenting his petition forms to the all-Labour Cabinet on Thursday. Thousands of residents from both Maghull and Southport returned surveys, rejecting the Green Bin charge by a factor of 50 to one. A report to the Council’s Cabinet for its meeting on Thursday now suggests that the Council should abandon the charge plan.
The proposed Green Bin Tax was always an idea which did not add up. Labour refused to allow the Council’s Scrutiny Committee to consider the proposal in January. They forced it through the Council’s budget meeting in February without even trying to find a clue as to whether or not people would be willing to pay a charge for Green Bin emptying. They were prepared to throw away over a million pounds wasted on the purchase of the Green Bins which people would refuse to use and discard if the charge had come in.
It seems that Bootle’s Labour councillors were originally prepared to see thousands of tonnes of ‘green waste’ stuffed into grey waste bins, leading to the Council being ‘stung’ with massive extra charges for landfill. They were prepared to see a rise in fly-tipping all over the borough. No wonder the people of Maghull turned against them so massively in the July by-elections.
There are still considerable concerns as to what precisely Labour plan to do to replace their planned Green Bin Tax. The report to Cabinet is almost ‘back of an envelope’ stuff and contains no financial information whatsoever. But that can be looked at over the next few months. The abandonment of the Green Bin Tax proposals, which disproportionately-hit Southport and Maghull residents, is a fantastic victory for the constant Lib Dem campaign over the summer.