Will Forster

Mayor of Woking and Lib Dem County Councillor for Woking South Learn more

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Government calls time on Surrey’s Tory Tip Tax

by willforster on 16 January, 2018

The Government have stated that they wish to see an end to charges by local authorities, including Surrey County Council, for residents disposing of DIY waste.

A consultation released this week by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) states that “The Government’s view is that residents should be able to dispose of household DIY waste free of charge” and “The Government will consider clarifying the law if councils continue to charge for disposal of reasonable amounts of DIY waste”. The County Council introduced the unpopular charges, dubbed the “Tory Tip Tax”, in September 2016 and from January this year ended the daily allowance for local residents to dispose of waste for free.

I am pleased that the Government agree with my Lib Dem Council colleagues and I that these charges should be banned, and that they will, if necessary, legislate to stop local authorities like Surrey charging residents for disposing of DIY waste.  Ever since these charges were introduced, we have pointed out that the County Council’s policy is contrary to the Government’s guidance on household waste, which includes not charging for DIY waste.

Councils should be doing everything they can to make it easier for residents to do the right thing and dispose of their waste legally and in a responsible manner.  These charges did the exact opposite and sent out exactly the wrong message to residents in Surrey.

The Government’s intention to legislate should act as a wake-up call for Surrey’s Conservative Cabinet to axe these charges immediately.  I am also calling on the County Council to respond to the Government’s consultation positively and to finally accept that their “Tip Tax” on local residents is coming to an end.

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