County councillor response in Voice is a fiction

Cllr Reg Shore, the Lincolnshire County Council portfolio holder for Waste & Recycling, appears to have read a completely different document to me, based on his recent letter in the Spalding Voice.
The county council have not been doing any ‘working with’ as far as South Holland is concerned. What they have done, is tell us that they will no longer be paying recycling credits to the three Lincolnshire councils that have their own recycling contracts. As if that wasn’t enough, they have also told these councils, that the county is taking over the disposal of the recycling that these councils collect.
Just to add insult to injury, the county council has put in place something they are calling transfer payments. The double whammy for the three councils affected, is that these payment will be made to all seven councils, including the four that are not actually loosing any recycling credits, or contract revenue.
Cllr Shore has kindly informed readers that I was wrong about the county council grabbing the £10 a ton South Holland currently receives. At the time of writing my previous blog entry on this issue, I was not privy to the details of the contract the county council had negotiated. Imagine my surprise, when I read a briefing note stating that Lincolnshire County Council had secured a contract that gives them NO REVENUE! Ironically, Cllr Shore emphasises this point in his letter, as though it is somehow to his and the county council’s credit – extraordinary!!
Just to be clear; Lincolnshire County Council will stop paying South Holland DC and two other councils, North and South Kesteven, £42 a ton in recycling credits from 2016. Also, with immediate effect, SHDC will be loosing the £10 a ton paid by the materials contractor and that helped to support our recycling collections.
The financial impact for South Holland will be:
– £377,830 after three years
– £895,570 after five years
Cllr Shore’s claim that every council will gain financially and that this should be viewed as ‘a real opportunity’, is technically correct, but only if you ignore completely the last 20+ years of recycling credit payments received from LCC and the last 3 years of revenue, received for our recycling, from our various contracts.
The proposal now, is that we all pretend that the last 20+ years of recycling never happened, that there were no recycling credits and that we were never able to sell our recycling. We also have to ‘pretend’ that we haven’t managed to achieve a recycling rate of 30%. This is because the county council has offered to make incentive payments for any increase in recycling rates, from this point forward. They have also offered to share some of the revenue they receive from the contractor – a contract that currently provides no revenue – how generous is that!
Had the county council been more upfront and open about these proposals and agreed to discuss openly all of the financial issues, there would have been no need for this hostility. Unfortunately, the only image in Cllr Shore’s ‘big picture’ is the one showing the county council, with every other council in Lincolnshire conveniently cropped out.

As a footnote, the government has just announced the financial settlement
For the forthcoming financial year. South Holland will be loosing a further 6.2% of its funding, equivalent to £0.755m.

Districts face loss as county waste deal ends

Copied from Local Government Chronicle online
13 August, 2014 | By Corin Williams

Districts in Lancashire are challenging the county council’s plans to change the funding system for waste collection in a way they say could cost them hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Lancashire CC has said it will no longer fund district councils for each household they supply with a kerbside recycling collection after the present agreement, which began in 2004, runs out in 2018.

Districts will instead be paid by recycling credits issued for the tonnages of recyclable materials they collect.

Wyre BC leader Peter Gibson (Con) has warned his council would face a revenue reduction of more than £980,000, equivalent to a 15% increase in council tax, as a result of this change.

He said in a report to a council meeting that recycling credits were an unreliable payment method as “districts couldn’t predict what their recycling levels would be and this made financial planning more difficult”.

Eleven districts are involved in the existing deal with Lancashire, the exception being Ribble Valley BC.

A Lancashire spokesman told LGC’s sister title Materials Recycling World: “The county council has made the waste collection authorities aware that it is considered highly unlikely that these agreements will be further extended once they expire in 2018 in order to ensure that they have sufficient time to plan their financial strategies beyond this date.”

This story could just as easily be about Lincolnshire County Council and its treatment of Lincolnshire district councils – but worse!

Each Lincolnshire district council already pays for its recycling collection service and only get recycling credits from LCC. The county are now stopping the payment of recycling credits AND taking over the disposal contract, so that they collect the revenue that is currently paid by the contractors.
Revenue from recycling is never a certainty and depends on a global market so, to be fair, the county council is at least taking on that risk. However, as the world recovers from the financial crisis, the risk becomes significantly lower.
This move by LCC, is a financial double whammy for South Holland and two other Lincolnshire district councils. Out taxpayers will still have to pay to collect recycling, but now the cost will not be offset, in part at least, by the payment of recycling credits, or revenue from the contract.