A GROUP of pensioners are calling on others to join them in a city-wide boycott of new brown bin charges.

Glasgow City Council recently introduced a £50 fee per household for a permit that allows for kerbside collection of garden waste.

But residents in Whitburn Street in Carntyne are calling on local authority bosses to introduce a reduced rate for the elderly or vulnerable who are unable to afford the one-off payment.

Ann Ayre, chair of the area’s Winget Residents’ Association, told the Glasgow Times that her members have decided to take a stand against the move – and want senior citizens across the city to follow suit.

Glasgow Times:  Ann Ayre Ann Ayre (Image: .Gordon Terris, Newsquest)

She said: “We are being hit in the pocket constantly with the rising cost of living and this latest charge for something that fell within our council tax for years is a step too far.

“How on earth can council bosses justify asking pensioners already struggling on the breadline to find extra money - and to pay it upfront? So many people here are already financially stretched just trying to heat their homes and buy food without paying to have their cut grass taken away.”

The community campaigner wants City Chambers bosses to even look at ways of spreading the cost to help people cope.

She added: “It just seems that the vulnerable and those who are retired are being squeezed more and more.

“As a community group we have no intention of paying for these permits and we want others to back our cause and take a stand. For some people, finding the £50 up front is difficult.”

Locals are now calling for a payment plan to be introduced by the council to give people the chance to spread a small fee over a period of months.

Glasgow Times:

Ann said: “Perhaps the cost could be woven into their council tax charges for the year to make it more manageable for those who are struggling?”

A one-off payment of £50 currently applies per brown bin, so if you have two the total cost will be £100.

Permits are provided within 21 days of purchase and cover the period until September 30, 2024.

Renfrewshire and Inverclyde Council’s also recently introduced charges for the collection of garden refuse, but at a 20 per cent lower charge of £40 per household.

Ann, who has lived in the area for over 40 years, added: “I’d like to know why Glasgow City Council feel the need to charge more than other local authorities? It seems unfair that we are expected to fork out £50 for a permit while others pay less for the same service. It appears if you live in Glasgow, you pay more and get very little extra in return.

“It’s not as if the elderly benefit from the council maintaining gardens around here because that service was cut years ago.  People now feel they are being put in a position of having to choose to pay one bill over another.

“It’s okay for the council to say that we can still use the bins and empty the waste ourselves at the local dump, but how on earth are we expected to do that if we don’t have our own cars. It’s not as if we can take a wheelie bin on the bus down to the recycling centre.”

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said the decision to end the free service puts them in line with other local authorities.

He added: “The collection of garden waste is not a statutory service, and most councils in Scotland already charge a fee such for offering a household collections service.

“The free service that has been offered in Glasgow until recently was subsidised from council tax paid by all households, including those who do not use it and those who do not have gardens.

“The new permit system for those households who do wish to have a kerbside collection of garden waste will support and protect the delivery of other core services across the city.

The spokesman continued: “To make it absolutely clear, households do not have to use this service to dispose of their garden waste, instead they can still take waste to a household waste recycling centre or compost waste in their own garden.  A permit is not required if the brown bin is only used for food waste.

“Finally, it is important to remember that increasing recycling contributes towards minimising the impact of climate change while also reducing the amount of public money used to treat waste and pay landfill charges.”