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.
The Highland Council has awarded a contract to A & W Sinclair for the delivery of environmental improvement works at Dunnet Bay and Dunnet Head. Work on site will commence week beginning 15th February 2016 and is scheduled for completion by the middle of April.
Following the second call for candidates wishing to serve on Highland Community Councils to come forward - a total of 19 Councils attracted sufficient interest to form a new Council. The uncontested community councils in the second round are: â€¢Ardgay Community Council â€¢Arisaig and District Community Council â€¢Balintore and Hilton Community Council â€¢Ballifer Community Council â€¢Bower Community Council â€¢Coigach Community Council â€¢Conon Bridge Community Council â€¢Dulnain Bridge Community Council â€¢Inver Community Council â€¢Kiltarlity Community Council â€¢Kinlochleven Community Council â€¢Kyle Community Council â€¢Lochardil and Drummond Community Council â€¢Morvern Community Council â€¢Muirtown Community Council â€¢Raasay Community Council â€¢Sinclairs Bay Community Council â€¢Strathpeffer Comunity Council â€¢West Ardnamurchan Community Council.
For the first time the Highland Community Planning Partnership have endorsed a Development Plan published by The Highland Council and have agreed to working with the Council in monitoring its delivery. The Proposed Caithness and Sutherland Local Development Plan (CaSPlan), was published for consultation on 22 January 2016 and will run until 18 March 2016.
The Councils Community Services Committee has approved an additional programme of Â£2.7 million for the coming year 2016/17. Â£2.3 million will be allocated this coming year to re-surfacing, surface dressing and road markings across the Highland network and Â£0.4 million to bridges in Sutherland (Kylesku) and Lochaber (A884 Achnagavin).
Highland Council has invited tenders for a contract for a summer ferry service between Cromarty and Nigg. The previous operator terminated the service contract just before the start of the 2015 season due to difficulties with sandbanks building up off the slipways and berthing arrangements.
Council house rents will be limited to a 1.9% rise in order to maintain current service levels. This will mean an increase in the average weekly council rent of Â£1.35 for all Housing Revenue Account (HRA) rents.
New standards have been set out for grass-cutting across the Council area to meet statutory requirements and achieve savings. There is no statutory requirement that amenity grass must be cut, however, the Council has various duties to maintain public safety, deliver education in accordance to national standards, deliver a burial service, maintain roads and paths in a safe condition and support national play initiatives.
The Highland Council has awarded Â£1.128 million to Community Transport schemes across the Highlands, spread over the next 3 years. This allocation allows Â£376,000 of grants to be made available to the listed community groups and organisations each year for the next 3 years, which enables some certainty in the medium term for these initiatives.
The Highland Council is preparing for the implementation of a Decriminalised Parking Enforcement (DPE) Scheme this year. Remedial works have started, which includes sign and road markings replacement across the council to support of our Application to Transport Scotland for DPE authority.
Highland Council Leader, Councillor Margaret Davidson said: The option to raise council tax in Highland has been taken away from us. We have been informed, if we raise Council Tax, we will be fined not just the 3% we expected but also other sanctions will be applied around teacher numbers and funding for social care.
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