Here follows a paraphrased extract from a BBC report...
Conservative MP Chris Skidmore has claimed that an extra charge to collect green waste amounts to a council tax rise which should have triggered a referendum. "The £36 charge in South Gloucestershire was above a 2% threshold which should have led to a vote among residents". A council spokesman said residents were not obliged to pay the charge. "Fortnightly green waste collection is an optional service for residents, rather than a tax, and those who do not wish to pay are not obliged to do so," a spokesman said. "There are a number of free alternatives for residents who do not wish to use the opt-in service, including home composting and disposal via our Sort-IT centres."It's funny, because the tagline of this blog "pay up, we're above the law" refers to South Gloucestershire Council's stonewalling attitude toward bailiff fee fraud, but it seems this is their attitude in all things. The law states that a referendum must be held for any council tax rises over 2%, so instead of obeying the law, they now subvert it by making basic services charagble, when those basic servces are the very reason local authorities exist.
Our councils started in life as public sanitation authorities, not least to prevent the spread of disease, and to control rats and other vermin. Now the vermin are in charge. They now view this most basic function of government as an optional extra.
Further to this, we see the arrogance of office in an unnamed council official, telling us in earnest that we are free to dispose of waste at our own expense - or obey their own eco-agenda. Rather than the grossly overpaid council chief executive, Amanda Deeks, having the courage to put her name on the record, she hides behind a "council spokesman", whom we are not allowed to know the identity of.
Your masters have spoken. They will only allow democratic expression when it suits them, and as to the law... well that's just for us plebs. This of course raises three questions:
1) If councils are not spending our money on what we pay them for, what are they spending it on?
2) If we now have to pay fees for the services for which we pay council tax, what is council tax for - and why should we pay it?
3) If we had anything resembling local democracy, why would our MP have to raise a matter of local bin collection in our national parliament?
Methinks councils have forgotten what they are for.