By Rebecca Curley, Local Democracy Reporter, 29 May
Charges for DIY wood and roofing felt have been deferred – but not cancelled.
Surrey County Council was set to bring in costs for residents wanting to dump the material at Community Recycling Centres next month.
But leader Cllr Tim Oliver announced on Tuesday they had decided to defer introducing the charges while they review the decision.
Plans approved in January this year would have meant residents being charged £30 for a loose car load of construction wood from 3 June. People with single items of wood or a bag no bigger than 50cm x 77cm would be charged £4.
The council’s website lists construction wood waste such as sheds, fencing panels and posts decking and fitted kitchen units.
(Caterham CRC was excluded from this because they could not take the payment. So residents were going to have to go to other centres.)
A petition signed by hundreds of residents was launched to try and stop the charging.
This u-turn in the decision comes after plans to close six CRCs were halted earlier this year following an outcry from residents.
Cllr Dr Andrew Povey is leading a review of CRCs across the county after the decision to close them was deferred for six months.
Thousands of people signed petitions and called on the council to re-think its plans to close sites leading to the review.
The charging for DIY wood and roof felting waste will now also be part of this review.
Speaking at SCC cabinet meeting on Tuesday Cllr Oliver said: “I made clear in my speech to full council last week that we are absolutely committed to the environment and to make recycling as easy as possible for our residents.
“We need to have a joined-up approach to all this.
“That is why the cabinet has decided the proposal to charge residents from next month for taking DIY wood and roofing felt to our Community Recycling Centres will be deferred.
“This instead, will be part of the review carried out by Dr Povey so that we do have a properly coordinated approach and we can look at the county’s future waste strategy in the round.”