Brown bins will be chargeable as council passes difficult budget


Councillors agree budget including savings of £4.4m with heated debate as parking charges increase and new fees for brown bin collections introduced

A new charge for having your brown bin’s garden waste emptied and increased parking charges in the district are amongst the measures adopted by councillors at Cherwell District Council when setting their budget last night.   During the meeting, which at times saw heated debate between the controlling Conservative group and the Labour opposition, cost cutting measures and charge increases helped achieve a budgeted saving of £4.4m.

The budget was agreed in the face of uncertainties around the future of the council’s funding and the impact of COVID-19.   This is the first year the council has had to set a budget that includes significant savings.

As part of the new budget Cherwell will introduce a new food waste collection service giving residents the opportunity to recycle their food waste on a weekly basis.    People will still be able to subscribe to the garden waste collection service, but this will incur a charge from July 2021.

Cherwell’s element of the Council Tax will increase by £5 from £133.50 to £138.50 for a band D property. This is the maximum increase the Council can propose, without the need to hold a referendum.

Staff working for the Council will not receive any pay increase this coming year, although those earning below £24,000 will receive a cost of living increase of at least £250, in line with Government announcements.    The Council says that in future years pay awards are assumed to increase at 2.5% annually.

Following feedback a proposal for rental increases for affordable homes and shared ownership properties owned by the Council was withdrawn from the budget.

The public had been invited to have its say on the raft of proposals being made.   Over 380 people responded.   Councillor Tony Ilott, Cherwell District Council’s Lead Member for Financial Management and Governance, told the meeting people were broadly supportive of the proposals.

Speaking after the meeting Councillor Ilott said: “Since 2010 we have been able to avoid making the savings experienced elsewhere in local government.  We have been successful in local economic growth and innovation, which has resulted in local jobs as well as income for the council.

“However, alongside all local authorities, we now face a very uncertain funding situation. The government announced a one-year spending review and financial settlement so we do not have medium term certainty around our funding.  There has also been delays to a realignment of the distribution of business rates, which is likely to result in less funding for the council in the future. A review around the future of New Homes Bonus which is a grant paid by central government to local councils to reflect housing growth in their areas leads to further uncertainty from 2022/23.

“Alongside these uncertainties, an ageing population, growth in population and our response to COVID-19 have added to the financial pressures, but this prudent budget ensures our financial sustainability and leaves us well-placed to face the future with confidence.”

Speaking at last night’s meeting Councillor Sean Woodcock, leader of the Labour group and the opposition at Cherwell, attacked the budget proposals.   He said: “At a time when our town centres need shoppers more than ever, they’re going to ramp up the parking charges; more money taken out of the pockets of local residents that can’t be spent in the shops.   They’re even, having promised last year a green budget, going to start charging for brown bins.

“We all know that the areas of Cherwell with the poorest recycling rates are the more deprived ones, particularly places like Grimsbury and Ruscote in Banbury.   Yet they’ve decided to introduce a charging system that makes it easy to recycle properly only if you can afford to.   Those with the least get a lesser service.”

The proposed budget was passed with 30 councillors voting in favour, 9 against and 6 abstaining.   The full report as discussed by councillors can be viewed here.

Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam

Reader's opinions
  1. Edward Jenkins   On   23/02/2021 at 1:05 pm

    Please don’t start moaning about fly tipping. Many people, me included, feel brown bin collection should be included in council tax. My household don’t use the school service but still pay for it in our taxes.

  2. Kenneth Boyle   On   23/02/2021 at 1:34 pm

    So garden and food waste will be smuggled into the general waste bin and after spending millions on a new shopping area they put up parking charges which will probably encourage more shoppers to make it a day out to Milton Keynes and Oxford!!! Looks like the economics of the madhouse!!!!

  3. G more   On   23/02/2021 at 3:01 pm

    It will be dumped on verges council grass areas so will cost more to clear up in the long run, I don’t use schools sports centre and not been to town for over a year but still pay ,wots next back to having to pay for fire brigade private and having a plaque on the outside of the house

  4. Harold Pearce   On   23/02/2021 at 5:53 pm

    I have 4 brown bins which i regularly fill year round – does anyone know what the charges will be for this – i remember that the council promoted the initial use of brown bins as they made a profit from composting – they even encouraged you to purchase extra bins from them which i did. Now they intend to charge me for this service – i guess if you dig a little deeper – they probably aren’t making a profit on garden waste anymore – it always comes down to money – even though we already pay for this service through our council tax.

  5. Sandra Miller   On   23/02/2021 at 8:48 pm

    On every community forum for the last couple of years the subject of town centre parking arises. Almost unanimously the argument for free parking , to encourage people to use the shops in the prcinct and old town etc , is thought to be essential to keep our town alive .
    The people that dont agree and feel it necessary to up charges instead , must have vested interest in areas away from the town .This is my opinion .

  6. jonathan taylor   On   23/02/2021 at 9:55 pm

    Another back door tax .what you will get is people who don’t pay the charge putting their green waste in people that pay the charge

  7. Michael Southam   On   23/02/2021 at 11:29 pm

    You wasted my share of council tax by taking over that shopping centre with out the common decency for a public vote on where our money goes and now you shoot yourself in the foot by putting parking charges up how incompetent can you get you all should resign and have another election

    • Anna   On   06/07/2021 at 7:24 am

      Where exactly did they ask for feedback? They didn’t contact anyone I know. The parking charges will damage trade in Bicester whose shopping centre around Sheep Street has already got at least 8 empty shops in a small town centre. I understand the need for more income but why are they charging more for the brown composting bin? This will only encourage people putting it in the green bin which the bin men will then be told not to collect and leave stinking Unemptied bins. Have the council no imagination?

  8. David Carpenter   On   24/02/2021 at 9:54 am

    If they are going to charge me to recycle my food and garden waste on top of me already paying council tax, then I will simply stop recycling my food and garden waste, end of!

  9. Graham Dalley   On   24/02/2021 at 11:44 am

    Firstly, regarding the brown bin becoming chargeable, Message to the council. Feel free to come and collect our brown bin then. It will be one less to have to drag out once a fortnight and one less plastic eyesore in my garden.
    Second, the increase in council tax… where do I start? Castlequay and the Waterfront extension, the council are using this to justify the increase, ultimately we didn’t ask you to buy the shopping centre. Where was the public vote? The council didn’t consult the people who live in Cherwell, so now they have a potential white elephant on your hands don’t ask the people to help you pay for your mistakes. Having managed a couple of shops in the centre I know that the rents are extortionate on units, which is why the previous centre management could never fill all the units, since the council took control the centre has hemorrhaged businesses and failed to attract new businesses because of the sky high rents. big brands M and S, BHS, Debenhams going should have sent a flare up to the council but nothing has been done except charging on regardless, and now you want us to help you pay for it? and use it… So what does Ilott propose? Increasing parking charges!!! because that’s going to attract people to the facility, right?
    Mr Ilott, if you want more people to come into the town centre and you want to attract new businesses to your white elephant.
    You are going about it in completely the wrong way, Firstly you need to do a rent review of the units and look at lowering the rent to attract new business to your centre. You also need to either make the first hour in town during the week days free, charge at the weekend but keep it at its current level per hour. The net result will be more footfall to the town centre, more money being spent making the centre a more attractive proposition to new business owners. Of course you won’t do this because you have no business accumen.
    In closing, why are we as a community trusting this council to effectively run our area when clearly they cannot be trusted to run a bath. Castlequay/Waterfront has fast become a millstone which the council is expecting us to help pay for…I’m not even sure that that is even legal? with footfall decreasing and businesses leaving, simply because of the way its being run (into the ground by the council) with the too high rent and now an increase in car park charges, something has got to give. Unless sweeping changes are made soon the town centre will become a ghost town in the not too distant future.

  10. Paul Jeffreys   On   24/02/2021 at 7:14 pm

    I recycle and look after my area by cutting the hedges at the side of the road so the bin lorry can get up the road safely, which fills my brown bins. So no more hedge cuts by me and damage to the bin lorry. How will they know which bins have paid and which haven’t?
    I can see a lot of green waste getting dumped everywhere.
    Silly idea, let’s vote for a new council.

  11. Sandra Woodworth   On   25/02/2021 at 8:21 am

    We have come back to live in Banbury after 5 years with Wyre District Council on the Fylde Coast. They charged for garden waste which they collected for 10 months of the year. The charge was approx £35 per year. When you had paid, upfront , in March you were sent a sticker to put on your bin to prove you had paid.

  12. Jane Allison   On   25/02/2021 at 11:33 am

    I totally agree with Graham Dalley. There is NO smart thinking ( or any thinking) where keeping Banbury town centre alive and flourishing is concerned. The ‘new’ shopping complex by the motorway was the first death knell. High rents and parking charges are the next. In New Zealand they have a system where the first hour is free and you pay thereafter. We need an easy access for non drivers too, who cant get to the out-of-town shopping areas. Banbury town centre could be a great and busy place with clever, and longer term thinking, rather than the ghost town it is becoming.

    • Mick White   On   25/02/2021 at 8:40 pm

      Exactly the same in Bicester, the short story that CDC don’t have a clue about economics!

  13. Teresa   On   25/02/2021 at 9:06 pm

    The council are now going to charge us for a service that the council brought in to make us recycle and be more green friendly.. why wasn’t we charged from day one .. the bins are only in high demand for the summer months for grass cutting.. do we get a reduction through the winter months when nothing grows .. ( guess not) .. there’s tree’s outside my back gate and when they start falling I go out with my shovel and broom and clean them up as the road sweeper doesn’t pick them up properly and the drains clog up .. do I charge for my services .. no I don’t.. think of the OAP’s this is another bill they will have to find out of there pension

  14. Mrs Patricia Bott   On   16/03/2021 at 4:21 pm

    How will be notified of this change/charge it’s getting close to April 1st having just received council tax bill there was nothing in there about this.

  15. Christopher Norridge   On   11/04/2023 at 8:52 pm

    So many people speaking from the same hymn sheet. How long do we put up with total incompetence ? Council tax is a odious tax at the best of times and especially where we can see such a waste of our hard earned money.
    It is a time for a complete overhaul of the way councils collect revenue and those who govern in local government are held accountable for their total ineptitude.

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