LOCAL Tory spokesman, Gordon Henderson, has hit back at suggestions that Swale Borough Council intends fining people for not using their rubbish bins properly.
‘I am not a councillor and don’t normally stand up for Swale Borough Council, however, certain mischievous people, for their own political ends, have inferred that Conservative members on the Council want to set up some sort of “dustbin police”. That is nonsense and I would like to make clear the local Conservative policy.’
‘The truth is that it is our Labour Government that is the villain on this occasion. They plan to introduce new rubbish taxes, on top of council tax. Indeed, it was revealed this week that Downing Street is actively considering introducing additional ‘user charges’ for household rubbish collection.
‘I would like to assure local residents that ALL Conservatives in Swale will oppose these charges. There are some who will distort the truth for their own ends, but let me assure you local Tories will do all we can to stop these retrograde charges.’
It has been revealed that:-
· Under the clandestine plans for new bin taxes, hidden microchips will be used to weigh the contents of each household’s rubbish bin and then allow the town hall to levy a weekly or monthly bill based on its weight. Locks would have to be installed on every bin, and wheelie bins would be compulsory. We will oppose this measure.
· New municipal ‘bin inspectors’ would be employed to police the system, fining those who do not use their wheelie bins or who leave rubbish bags outside the bin. We will oppose this measure.
· The Keep Britain Tidy Campaign has warned that rubbish taxes would cause a surge in fly-tipping, with families being hit the hardest. Such taxes are also expected to cause a surge in ‘backyard burning’; in the Republic of Ireland where such controversial taxes have already been introduced, one in ten households now burn their rubbish in their back garden to avoid paying, filling the air with toxic chemicals.
Gordon went on to say:
‘There is already massive public resentment at the way working families and pensioners are being punished by punitive levels of council tax – thanks to the Labour Government. Now every household in Swale faces the prospect of new rubbish taxes on top. I fear poorest families will be hit the hardest. If it happens we cannot blame our Conservative councillors, because, despite what you have heard from our political opponents, they oppose these charges.
‘Such bin taxes threaten to damage the local environment by causing a surge in fly-tipping and backyard burning in local neighbourhoods. No-one believes that Gordon Brown would cut council taxes if top-up charges were introduced. This threatens to become yet another Labour stealth tax.’
Notes to Editors
NEW LOCAL TAXES ON THE WAY
Documents being drawn up by 10 Downing Street have revealed plans to levy new rubbish taxes on homes of up to £120 a year (Daily Telegraph, 11 February 2007).
BIN TAXES WILL HARM THE ENVIRONMENT
More flytipping: The Keep Britain Tidy Campaign has warned, “the so-called, ‘pay as you throw’ scheme – which involves placing micro chips in bins to assess the amount of rubbish each home creates – may result in people simply dumping their garbage illegally in a bid to avoid paying up… It is a real challenge for a large family to keep their rubbish down to a minimum – especially if they are given poor recycling facilities and only have their bin collected once a fortnight. Faced with a fine, some are bound to take the easy option and simply fly-tip their rubbish” (Encams press release, 5 October 2006).
Backyard burning: The Republic of Ireland has already introduced bin taxes, which have caused a surge in illegal burning of household waste, which releases toxic chemicals and dioxins into the atmosphere. One in ten adults now admit to burning household waste; 80 per cent of local authorities in the Republic identify ‘backyard burning’ as a significant and growing issue (Republic of Ireland Environmental Protection Agency Press Release, 23 October 2006)
BIN SPY TECHNOLOGY IN ACTION
Examples of the bin tax technology, including the microchips in wheelie bins, can be found at:
The documents explain:
“Data Capture: An electronic identification tag, containing a unique code, is mounted under the lip of each bin. Antennas situated on the lifter comb interrogate the tags during the emptying cycle. Bins are identified and weighed automatically during the normal emptying cycle without adding to cycle times. Data, concerning the identity and weight of the contents of each lifted bin, is recorded on the vehicle system and transferred securely to the base computer system either directly or through telephone links.
“ID Tags: A data tag incorporates a very small microchip and antenna coil. Tags are available in Read Only and
Read/Write versions. They do not require batteries, relying merely on the energy field generated by the antenna fitted to each lift mechanism. Data is read when the antenna is within range of the tag, and is transferred by radio frequency (RF) to the truck antenna. During the manufacturing process the tag is inserted into a ‘nest’ under the lip of the bin. The tag is resistant to UV, wide temperature ranges, shock and vibrations and most chemicals. Tags can be retrofitted to most existing wheeled bin types.”
“Before PM BinWeigh™ can be used, the binchips need to be linked with the householder’s address. Then an account can be correctly set up for each individual bin. This is done by scanning the chip, which has a unique RFID code and then scanning the bar code relating to an address that is attached to the wheeled bin container. These two pieces of information are then electronically tied together and the account can be successfully set up.
“Pay-by-Weight: By using our approved for trade weighing system, precise weight data means customer utility invoices can be raised to suit the operators charging policy. It allows daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly invoices to be raised as and when required. Alternatively, if preferred, the information gathered can be transferred into a separate invoicing program.”