The man who started the petition against the new charge for garden waste collections has raised his concerns with Horsham MP Francis Maude.
In an open letter posted on the County Times website Andrew Campbell of Butlers Road, Roffey says Horsham District Council’s scheme where residents pay an extra £29 a year to have their green waste collected is ‘ill conceived, muddled, amateur and thoroughly unworkable’. The service has been provided for free until now.
He writes: “Being one of the instigators of the opposition I must make it clear that it is not about the money. The issue is fourfold. Firstly it is a back door council tax increase for those who decide to opt-in. Secondly it discriminates against the old, the inform, the low paid, none car owners and shared habitation dwellers.
“Thirdly it will lead to more car journeys to the council tip to dump the green waste not collected. Lastly it sets the precedent for more council services to be treated as opt-in whenever it suits the council with no promise of an opt-out option for those who don’t use some services they pay for in their council tax.”
The petition now has about 600 signatures and tonight (Thursday) at 6.30pm HDC cabinet member for the environment Andrew Baldwin will spend an hour on the council’s Facebook page answering questions from the public.
Speaking beforehand Mr Baldwin said: “This is a great opportunity for residents to get their questions answered on this new scheme.
“The council has received lots of questions and comments on its social media sites already and I think it’s important that I address those who have concerns directly and hopefully answer any queries that people may have.”
To find out more about the scheme go to the council’s website www.horsham.gov.uk
Mr Campbell’s letter can be viewed in full on www.wscountytimes.co.uk under the story entitled “Cabinet member to ‘address concerns’ in Facebook chat”.