CALLS are being made to defer the controversial decision to introduce garden waste charges in the district.
Liberal Democrats plan to put forward a motion challenging the ruling Conservatives over the £40 charge for the formerly free collection service, at an upcoming meeting of Stratford District Council.
The Tories have argued the charge is necessary to plug gaps in government funding and moves to cut carbon emissions, after the climate emergency declared last summer, would add to financial pressures on the authority.
They say the charge would generate some £2.2million a year.
But Lib Dem councillors have strongly objected to the proposal and say the public consultation on the scheme was misleading.
They argued there had been an overall increaseof £1million in government funds in the last few years and a further £2million forecast for the current financial year.
They want the decision to be deferred for six months.
Lib Dem councillor David Curtis said: “The decision to impose these charges appears to have been taken in haste and this proposed deferment of any implementation for six months will allow a clearer vision of the long term central government settlement, to better establish the forward financial position which has driven this additional ‘tax’ on green waste.
“It will also allow time for a more comprehensive environmental impact assessment to be carried out during this deferment period to clearly establish the benefits, or otherwise, of implementation.”
The proposal has left residents divided with some arguing it contradicted the council’s recent commitment to taking action against climate change.
Others were more supportive of the charge – which is already in place in Rugby and North Warwickshire – saying it would cut emissions and encourage more people to home compost.
Independent councillors Jacqui Harris and Tony Bromwich are among those objecting to the decision. They have organised a protest to take place outside the council’s Church Street offices before the meeting on Monday February 24.