Lewisham’s gardeners are singing the brown bin blues.
The cost of the council’s weekly garden waste collection service has from April 1 gone up from £60 to £80 a year – a 33 per cent rise.
Lewisham insists the service “remains good value and is comparable with other boroughs which offer fortnightly collections for around the same price”.
The increased charges come as the council battles to cut £30m from its £240m budget by 2021 because of punishing government austerity measures. It has agreed cuts of £9m for 2019-20.
Lewisham is increasing council tax by 4.99 per cent, raising charges for some services and using its reserves in order to plug a funding gap.
The price increase for garden waste collection has prompted comments on Twitter, with some residents threatening to return their brown bins.
Residents without cars say they rely on the weekly collections.
The council says the impact of austerity is being felt evr more deeply. In real terms local authority spending from 2010 to today has been cut in half.
Councillors say that by 2020, London councils will have lost 63 per cent of their funding.
Even though Lewisham is one of the more deprived parts of the country the government is committed to continuing to cut the money that the council can spend on services for our residents.