Garden Waste Service Suspended

The garden waste service has been suspended. Cotswold District Council now has a 20% shortage of staff and no longer has enough experienced drivers available for vehicles on all collection routes. Therefore, they are suspending the garden waste service with immediate effect so they can prioritise drivers on the main (statutory) collection services.

All other waste and recycling collections are continuing as normal for the moment.

People should increase their home composting and/or reduce the amount of garden waste produced. Lawns are the usual problem – mowing less, planting more wildflower meadow areas, leaving more areas to grow long and only picking up the cuttings every other mow (which lets it dry on the ground before it goes in the compost) all help. If residents don’t have a compost heap now would be an excellent time to start one.

Gloucestershire County Council has already closed the Household Recycling Centres (HRCs) so green waste cannot be taken there.
Residents should not put garden waste in the black wheelie bin – excessive wet waste is a problem for the operation of the “Energy from Waste” (Javelin Park Incinerator) plant where all Gloucestershire’s black bin waste goes. Garden waste in the black wheelie bin will not be accepted.

New Council Tax Support Scheme

Information from Cotswold District Council:

Cotswold District Council has adopted a new Council Tax Support (CTS) scheme for 2020/21 that will safeguard vulnerable groups and those on the lowest incomes. Residents on lower incomes are set to be better off thanks to these changes.

A new banding scheme addresses the need to have different bands for different types of households. As a result, it will be able to support more residents, in particular disadvantaged groups such as lone parents.

The upper limit for savings when considering relief has also been increased to £10,000 from £6,000. The two child limit has also been removed to ensure larger families have more disposable income.

Should a household move into a higher band, there will now be an 8-week transition period when the original rate of relief will still apply.

Cllr Mike Evemy, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, said: “The results of our public consultation showed residents were in favour of these changes. We’re incredibly happy to be able to take the most disadvantaged residents of our district out of paying council tax. It’s vital that we ensure those on low incomes are protected and receive the maximum support to which they are entitled.”

The Council worked closely with Cotswold Citizens Advice, who helped the Council make these welcome changes.

Mary Cobbett, Benefits Adviser at Cotswold Citizens Advice, said: “We are delighted CDC has taken this issue seriously and redesigned their CTS scheme to target those most financially vulnerable in our community. Council Tax Support is the highest underclaimed benefit nationally with over 50% of entitled residents failing to claim the benefit.”

The largest section of CTS under-claimants is working householders who are also homeowners. At Citizens Advice we are aware that householders who do not access the financial assistance that they are entitled to, have an increased risk of getting into debt. In 2019-20, the second largest debt issue faced by our clients is Council Tax Arrears.”

Cotswold District Council unanimously approved the new CTS scheme at its meeting on 22 January 2020.

The changes will come into effect from 1 April.

Read more: https://www.cotswold.gov.uk/council-tax-and-benefits/

Get Ready For Your New Recycling Service

Information from Cotswold District Council:

From March 2020, your recycling collections are changing.

New containers and an information pack are being delivered to households in February 2020.

What is changing

Collection days for some residents may change; details of your collection days will be in the information pack delivered to you.

Until March 2020 the postcode checker will have your current collection dates in. Once the new service goes live, the checker will be updated.

The changes mean that you:

  • will get a new cardboard bag to give you more capacity;
  • can recycle extra items including textiles and shoes, batteries, cartons and small electrical items; and
  • need to keep food waste separate and put it in your new outdoor food waste bin which is collected weekly.

Refuse and recycling will still be collected fortnightly. Garden waste will switch from weekly to fortnightly.

What you need to do

From March 2020, you will need two recycling containers: one for paper and another for glass.

Contact Cotswold District Council now if you only have one box so another one can be ordered for you before the new service starts.

Order another recycling box

Watch the video to find out more about these changes:

Have Your Say On Cotswold District Council Services

Cotswold District Council is undertaking a consultation on its proposed budget for the 2020/21 financial year. Their aim is to gather as much feedback as possible on key areas such as the waste service, parking, climate change, leisure, grants and changes to the District’s Local Plan.

The budget is being prepared against a backdrop of continuing cuts in Government funding which have seen core funding fall from £5.9 million in 2009 to £2.5 million in 2019/20, a drop of 58.4% with further falls in Government funding expected for 2021/22.

Councillors are keen to ensure that services will be maintained and enhanced while ensuring that the Council’s finances are sustainable and resilient. Plans include an improved waste service offering a separate food waste collection and more recycling, increased parking provision in Cirencester and investments in facilities such as Cirencester’s Corinium Museum.

The Council’s survey will also gather views on how the Council can raise additional income from investing in local property; to a proposed Council Tax rise of £5 a year for a Band D household. It will also ask for feedback on proposals to raise parking charges and the cost of garden waste collections.

Drop-in events about the budget have been arranged on:

These events will be held as informal Q&A sessions to allow residents to come along at their leisure and ask district councillors and officers questions about the proposals face-to-face. Alongside these events, district councillors will also be hitting the streets in each town on the event days to engage with residents in person and encourage people to give their views.

For more information on the budget consultation, please visit www.cotswold.gov.uk.

You can fill out the survey online or download, complete and return the printed version.

Deadline for responses: midnight on Sunday 26 January 2020