Axe to fall on monthly waste service in South Holland

District councillors 
Tracey Carter and Paul Foyster outside Holbeach Community Centre, one of six sites in South Holland that will lose its monthly household and garden waste collection service at the end of March.  Photo by Tim Wilson.
District councillors Tracey Carter and Paul Foyster outside Holbeach Community Centre, one of six sites in South Holland that will lose its monthly household and garden waste collection service at the end of March. Photo by Tim Wilson.
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Six towns and villages across South Holland are to lose their monthly waste collections provided by Lincolnshire County Council.

Saturday collections in Crowland, Donington, Gedney Hill, Holbeach, Long Sutton and Sutton Bridge will end this month as part of a £400,000 cut in the council’s waste and recycling budget.

It will leave people facing long trips to take household and garden waste to the council’s recycling centre in Spalding.

The move comes just days before South Holland District Council brings in its own paid-for garden waste collection service in some areas.

Peter Fleming, of Donington, said: “I went to our monthly waste collection site and the first thing I saw was a notice saying there will be no more collections from this site as of March 31.

“This came only a matter of days after we received our council tax bill informing us of an overall increase of 3.95% for the coming year.

Only a matter of days after we received our council tax bill informing us of an overall increase of 3.95% for the coming year, I saw a notice saying there will be no more collections

Peter Fleming of Donington

“So we are going to pay more, but services will be reduced. This could lead to an increase in waste being dumped all over the countryside.

“South Holland District Council is in the process of introducing a wheelie bin collection service on 24 occasions throughout the year, but this is only being done in selected areas and is not up and running yet.

“Until there is a properly thought out waste and recycling process in place, I would urge everyone to contact Lincolnshire County Council and their local councils to protest about the withdrawal of this vital service.”

The Saturday waste collection service had been run by the county council for at least 20 years at six sites, including Holbeach Community Centre in Fishpond Lane.

One pensioner who contacted the Guardian, but asked not to be named, said: “It was a really helpful and useful service that myself and a lot of my friends used.

“Coun Francis Biggadike (South Holland District Council member for Holbeach Town ward) always did a great job of directing the traffic and supervising the site.

“But when I went there on Saturday, March 12, the workers didn’t know themselves whether it was continuing.”

The pilot garden waste collection scheme set up by the district council, whose workers collected household and garden waste on Saturdays on behalf of the county council, is due to start next month but only for 2,500 households in Spalding, Holbeach, Crowland, Long Sutton, Sutton Bridge and Donington. Before then, both Gedney Hill and Sutton Bridge Parish Council members are due to meet and assess the impact on residents of the Saturday waste collections coming to an end.

A spokesman for Sutton Bridge Parish Council said: “There is huge concern that the cancellation of the service will create an increase in incidents of fly-tipping, a practice which is already a problem in the local area.

“The move to end the Saturday supplementary waste collection service may assist Lincolnshire County Council in managing its budget, but it could place an additional financial burden on South Holland District Council if concerns relating to increased fly-tipping actually materialise.”

Coun Reg Shore, executive member for waste and recycling at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “Our funding from central government is reducing and we need to scale back our spending on services by £170 million over the next four years.

“As part of this, waste services needs to play its part by cutting its annual waste and recycling budget by £400,000.

“I understand this may mean slightly longer journeys for some people, but we have a responsibility to make the best use of our budget and provide value to the taxpayer.”

But Holbeach district councillor Paul Foyster said: “I consider this to be a false economy because it’s likely to increase fly-tipping and South Holland District Council will end up paying as much to clear away illegally dumped material as Linconshire Council Council will save.”

Crowland parish and district councillor Bryan Alcock said: “This will come as a shock to many residents as it has been both a well-used and well-appreciated service.

“The onus has now been firmly placed on residents to dispose of their own waste.”

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