A leading councillor has criticised a rival politician who hit out at plans to introduce a £25 fee for garden waste bins, blaming his Government for the need to call for the change.
Councillor Michael Mordey, Sunderland City Council’s cabinet member for city services, has said Councillor Peter Wood, leader of the council’s Conservative group, should be “ashamed of himself” for criticising the authority’s plans.
The new charge will see householders pay £25 a year to cover the cost of 17 brown bin collections from April, a service which has previously been free.
The move will save £800,000 a year up to 2020, with the council stating it will be good value at £1.47 per collection.
Residents could pay £15 for the council to collect up to eight bulky items in one visit.
Coun Wood has said the decision will not encourage households to recycle their garden waste and lead them to use their general bin instead, claiming the decision is a “back door way of increasing council tax.”
The long-serving councillor is crying crocodile tears about these changes, when it is his Government that has slashed the budget since 2010 and will slash them even further up to 2020.Councillor Michael Mordey
But Coun Mordey said: “The long-serving councillor is crying crocodile tears about these changes, when it is his Government that has slashed the budget since 2010 and will slash them even further up to 2020.
“He should be ashamed of himself.
“Council tax makes up 12% of the income and 60% is from Government grants and that is what has been slashed.
“When we had more money we could provide this service.
“He should tell his ministers about the pressures we are under at this city council instead of political grandstanding.”
He added out of the 123,000 properties, 80,000 have the bins, which means those who do not receive the service are subsidising it through their council tax when they do not benefit.
The news of the charge did not got down with Echo readers this week, with 86% saying in an online poll that they would not be paying.