Garden Waste rebate set at a tenner and you won’t see a penny of it

The council rebate to all subscribers of the garden waste service will be £9.70, according to a report being sent to Folkestone & Hythe District Council’s Cabinet on the 20 Oct.

The garden waste service was suspended on Thursday 22 July 2021. It was a difficult decision to suspend the service and was only taken when all other options had been considered. The situation faced was that due to a national shortage of HGV drivers and the immediate impact of a large number of Covid-19 self-isolations to drivers and crews, the contractor Veolia reported that they could no longer adequately support the collection of all waste streams. The suspension of the garden waste service allowed for available drivers and crews to be transferred to support the priority refuse and recycling core rounds to ensure continuity of these services.

There are currently around 15,195 garden waste subscribers. This figure includes multi-bin subscribers. This means that any rebate option will need to operate at scale. In addition subscribers use multiple methods of payment as set out below.

Payment Methods & Values – 2021/22

  • Intranet Credit Card £ 6,662

  • Intranet Debit Card £ 23,571

  • Website Credit Card £ 261,545

  • Direct Debit (Annual) £ 168,674

  • Post Office £ 49,852

  • Pay Point £ 5,952

  • Phone £ 104,221

  • Cheque £ 37,219

In Report Number C/21/38 to go before Cabinet on 20 October 2022, the preferred recommendation is option 3 which states

This is the recommended option in terms of administration and the ability to directly benefit the largest number of residents as garden waste subscribers. It is hoped that most garden waste subscribers will be content with this as approach but if direct rebate requests are received for the suspended collection period (e.g. if a subscription is not going to be renewed) it is recommended that the Director Place is given the authority to resolve any requests at his discretion.

The cost of the rebate is linked to the length of the period of suspension. The cost is calculated at £ 29,605 per two-week cycle. Estimated over ten weeks, or the equivalent of five missed collections, the rebate per customer is £ 9.70 and £ 147,390 in total.

The Council’s Legal Officer’s Comments (NM) make it clear that all refunds need to be dealt with as quickly and efficiently as possible in order to mitigate any potential legal action that a subscriber may take against the Council – one such subscriber has already commenced legal action against the Council in relation to their refund we understand.

So, if you use this service you’ll get a tenner and you more likely than not won’t see a penny of it, except of course in your reduction for next years service.

The Shepway Vox Team

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1 Comment on Garden Waste rebate set at a tenner and you won’t see a penny of it

  1. I wonder how much time the Council has/is wasting processing payments over the phone and by cheque?

    At the current rate of £48.40, £104,221 is equivalent to 2,153 individual transactions by phone.

    If each transaction last an average of say 5 minutes, excluding queuing time, this is equivalent to around 180 hours (or almost 30 days based on a 6 hour working day).

    God only knows how long the cheques take to process.

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