'Democracy has spoken' - majority of readers slam Sunderland Council's £25 bin charge

Do you think paying a replacement fee is fair?
Do you think paying a replacement fee is fair?

More than a thousand Echo readers have said it's not fair to be charged a fee for a replacement wheelie bin.

Liberal Democrat councillor Stephen O'Brien last week called on the council to scrap an existing £25 replacement charge. Currently, this is payable by residents for a new bin if theirs is lost, stolen or damaged beyond repair.

Read more: Council refuses to scrap bin charges after calls to end £25 replacement fee in Sunderland

Councillor Michael Mordey, portfolio holder for City Services, told the meeting that the council cannot afford to reverse the charge, and added that the said charge came into force in 2013, when the Lib Dems were in power.

He added: "We were promised by the Lib Dems and by the Conservatives that austerity would be over by 2015.

"It wasn’t, and so we have been forced down the line into introducing a charge for bins. And at this moment in time the council is unable financially to reverse this policy.”

Bins are now collected one a fortnight in Sunderland.

Bins are now collected one a fortnight in Sunderland.

Any bins damaged by the council during the bin collection process will be replaced free of charge.

More than 1,600 of you voted in our online poll on the issue, with 88% - at time of writing - calling the charge unfair.

Here's how you reacted to the story on social media:

Colin Law: "What do we pay our council tax for? You have to pay for a replacement bin, you have to pay for your brown garden waste bin and you have to pay to get larger items of rubbish taken away. Then they whinge about people fly tipping. Who caused the problem?

Paul Summerside: "90% disagree with the charge. That's a landslide in anyone's world. So come on Sunderland Council....democracy has spoken.

"Even halving the charge is a start."

David Pringle: "As a resident born and bred in the Millfield area of the city, the question of charging for replacement wheelie bins is an interesting issue.

"I remember when only 'council houses' were provided with a 'dustbin'. Private households had to pay for their bin, its capacity barely one third of today's wheelie bin.

"No blue or brown bin collections either. As a child I remember (in the 50s) playing football/cricket in litter and rubbish-free conditions."

Lena Mills: "I've never used any council service but when my bin was pinched I was told about the charge plus up to a six-week wait?

"Adding that I could go to the dump daily with my household rubbish until it arrived."

Terry Graham: "I don’t agree with bin charges or any of the other charges that should be covered by council tax.

"However the Tory government seems to be deliberately slashing funding to Labour councils. Suppose they have to find money from somewhere. Shame it’s always us that foots the bill."

Thomas Newton: "If everyone feels so strongly about this, makes a massive fuss about it every time it's mentioned, then lobby your councillors to make a difference."

Phil Schmeichel Smurthwaite: "It’s not just for the bin it’s for the delivery cost as well."

Margaret Crosby: "It's a shame that the Labour council, champions of socialism, won't even cancel bin charges, bulky waste item charges and pest control for the poorest citizens, living in poverty with no money for these charges!"

Ruth Woodcock: "They should charge the people who leave their bins out all week that get either burnt out or thrown all over the back lane rather than punish the people who work full time and can't nip home to bring their bin in in case it's stolen!"

Ian Naylor: "Again the Liberals who so willingly assisted the Tories into cutting local government finance are moaning about the inevitable results of their handiwork!"