Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Is Wokingham's Waste Scheme Illegal?

The Earley Liberal Democrats have asked the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO)  to investigate Wokingham's recently introduced household waste scheme.

We are currently taking legal advice but feel the scheme may be illegal under the 1990 Environmental Protection Act (Section 3, Subsection b) because it requires households to purchase additional bags from the Council once they've used up their official allocation of 80 bags.

Unfortunately, the LGO hasn't - so far - responded positively to our initial request for it to investigate, responding :
"I should also take this opportunity to advise you that the Local Government Ombudsman may not be able to consider a complaint which relates to a policy decision made by the council which affects all or most people in a borough. Whether or not we can consider the complaint would ultimately be a decision for one of our investigators to make if you did complain to us but I have to advise you of this prior to you making any complaint."
But we won't be giving up that easily, and have re-submitted our complaint again this morning re-affirming our belief that the scheme contravenes the Environmental Protection Act by setting up a monopoly.

Our advice to residents? The LGO may be unwilling to investigate this policy but it will still investigate individual complaints or grievances you may have against Wokingham Borough Council as a result of it - especially if you are experiencing unjust treatment and have suffered  because of how the Council is applying it to you. You can find out more by reading the LGO's FAQ at  http://www.lgo.org.uk/FAQs/