Fury as call for Norfolk DIY waste charge rethink is blocked
The issue of DIY waste charges has left councillors at loggerheads in North Norfolk – despite shared concerns over their impact on fly-tipping.
Liberal Democrat councillors on North Norfolk District Council said they were “astonished” after a motion to lobby the county council over the charges – which were introduced at the beginning of April – was defeated by a single vote.
The motion was brought before the latest meeting of the full council last Wednesday by Nigel Lloyd, shadow portfolio holder for environment.
In it, he said: “In the light of the adverse environmental impact that is resulting from the introduction of household DIY waste charges at recycling, this council asks Norfolk County Council to reconsider its decision to introduce such charges and withdraw them.”
The motion received 15 votes in its favour – all from Lib Dem councillors – and 15 votes against it – all from Conservatives.
It was then left to the full council’s chairman, independent councillor Nicholas Coppack, to make the casting vote, defeating the motion.
Liberal Democrat group deputy leader Eric Seward said: “I was astonished in light of 6,500 residents signing a petition to drop the charges that this should be ignored by the Conservative councillors.
“I am now concerned that this will increase the likelihood of the charges staying.”
However, Hilary Cox, the council’s portfolio holder for environment, said the motion had been defeated because the DIY charges were a county, rather than district, council matter.
She said: “Of course we have concerns about fly-tipping as it is our responsibility to clean up after it, but the DIY waste charges are county council business.
“It is an important issue, however, there are also several issues such as homelessness that are also important and we as a district council have greater control over.
“These are the issues we need our officers to focus on the most.”
She added: “So far, we have not really had an issue since the charges came in, however, there are concerns people will try and use it as an excuse to dump things, which is wrong.”