Council Gets Tough On Waste Collection Payment Avoiders
18th June 2012
Council targeting holiday homes that are avoiding payment for their waste collection services.
Back in February this year, The Highland Council wrote to the owners of around 1,650 non-domestic rated (NDR) holiday home properties advising them of their legal obligations under the Environmental Protection Act and associated Duty of Care Regulations to have in place a waste collection contract for dealing with the waste generated from their businesses. It advised that if there was no response to the letter by early March then the collection service would cease.
Just over half of the owners responded to the letter. After giving a further two months for replies to come in, the Council will now be stopping the service to those properties where no response has been received. Stickers with the text "'The Highland Council has not emptied your bin because our records show you do not have a current commercial waste collection contract with us'. 'no contract, no uplift' will be attached to any bins presented for collection that do not have a current collection contract in place.
All NDR premises require to pay for their waste collection service and to have in place what is known as a "waste transfer note" specifying what waste they produce; which registered waste carrier collects that waste and which licenced waste disposal / treatment facility is used for the disposal/treatment of the waste. Failure to have this documentation in place is a breach of the Regulations.
The Council on its part has a duty to have such documentation in place if it is collecting commercial waste from any premise. It is also tasked with recovering the costs of any commercial waste collection service that it provides.
A Council spokesperson said: "It has to be recognised that these businesses are committing a criminal offence.
They are also avoiding paying for their collection service and these costs are being borne by the tax payer. I am sure that taxpayers and those businesses which are meeting their legal obligations and are paying for their collection service would expect the Council to take a firm stance against these businesses. The annual cost for servicing 1 x 240litre residual bin and 1 x 240litre recycling bin on an alternate weekly collection basis averages out at £2.74 per week and most holiday homes charge several hundred pounds per week."
The same action will be taken with the NDR properties in Inverness and Sutherland areas later this year and for any commercial businesses throughout the Highlands who are found to be illegally obtaining a collection service from the Council or are illegally disposing of their commercial waste in the litterbins or at the recycling centres.
Highland Council's Revenues and Business Support section in the Finance Service has won a Bronze COSLA (Convention of Scottish Local Authorities) award for their "Highland Helping Those in Need" project. COSLA Excellence Awards are held annually to reward and recognise projects and developments which establish excellent delivery of services to communities.
SIX Digital Champions are to be nominated to assist with promoting the Digital First Programme and the availability of online services. Digital First Programme aims to greatly increase access to online services, enabling at least 40% of transactions to be carried out online by April 2017.
The Highland Council has created a new way of keeping people up-to-date on the preparation of Development Plans in Highland and giving information of how and when people can get involved. The Development Plans Newsletter provides detailed information on what is happening across the Highlands in a more readable and accessible way making it more appealing to communities and stakeholders.
Members of The Highland Council's Resources Committee have today agreed proposals to localise the Carbon CLEVER Community Grant Fund in 2015/16. The Carbon CLEVER Community Grant Fund, agreed in June 2014, is a Â£200,000 capital fund which aims to provide communities with financial support to implement relevant and innovative projects to tackle climate change.
FOLLOWING the resignation of Councillor Colin Macaulay (SNP), a by-election will be held to elect a Member for Ward 19, NAIRN Ward. Nairn is a four-member ward.
Digital First Programme aims to have at least 40% of transactions online and deliver Â£1.3 million in savings over next four years. THE Highland Council Digital First Programme aims to greatly increase access to online services, enabling at least 40% of transactions to be carried out online by April 2017.
A six month review of the Highland Council website, which was launched in 2014, reveals high satisfaction levels amongst Highland residents. The majority of people visit the website to access services or to find information on Council meetings.
Following a successful meeting with the Lord Lyon and The Flag Institute with local community and Highland Council representatives, a competition for the design of a new flag for Caithness is launched today. Caithness Civic Leader, Councillor Gail Ross said: "This is a great chance for people to get creative and design an eye catching flag that will become the public symbol for Caithness.
The Highland Council has launched a new interactive map on its website showing the location of windfarms and wind turbines in the Highlands. The user friendly Windfarm Activity Map covers all scales of wind energy development and provides detailed information such as turbine sizes and planning reference numbers to make it easy for people to get further information.
An independent report commissioned by the Council, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and other partners has highlighted that 60% of businesses surveyed felt that their use of Gaelic enhanced the value of the language within the community and Gaelic is an asset in particular when used to promote the creative industries, tourism, food and drink. At Planning, Development and Infrastructure Committee (Wednesday 18 February 2015) , Councillors had a chance to discuss the report and the Council's strategic approach to supporting the Gaelic language and culture to bring both economic and social benefits to the Highlands.
[Printer Friendly Version]