I'm withholding some of my council tax – I only pay what I think is fair as I'm furious about bin collections | The Sun

A SOLICITOR is refusing to pay part of his council tax because he is furious over bin collection changes. 

Stephen Ede said several neighbours are also planning to withhold their cash, possibly for the next payment, after he urged them to join his cause.


He is furious with council officials in Tetney, Lincolnshire, for switching bin collections from fortnightly to monthly.

Last week he took £50 off his £300 council tax bill and vowed to carry on until there is a resolution – and is even prepared to fight in court.

He insisted he is paying what is fair, claiming he has only received half the service from the council that he is used to.

Mr Ede told The Sun: “I don't hear anything from the council. You don't get a service. The roads are in a shocking condition.

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"Fly-tipping in this area is a real problem. That’s only going to get worse with the monthly collections.

"If nobody collects the rubbish, somebody’s going to dump it.”

The council has also issued a new coloured bin to aid with recycling, but Mr Ede fumed that it is getting confusing for residents. 

He told the Grimsby Telegraph: "Quite what the council thinks that householders will be able to do about accommodating this nest of bins I don’t know.

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"A lot of people do not have large drives in which to stack them and one can only imagine the increase in pests and vermin if rubbish is left lying about for four weeks instead of two weeks.

"I have no doubt that rubbish collection in Tetney has become more onerous. 

"The council only has to look at the fact that it is they who have permitted the indiscriminate construction of new properties which has exacerbated their workload.

"I will make a prediction. Fly tipping is a major nuisance.

"It costs the council dearly to clear fly-tipped sites only to find that a matter of a few days later the fly-tippers have been back again.

"There will be an increase in fly-tipping if there is a reduction in the present waste collection programme. Clearing this up will cost the council more."

Mr Ede has lived in the rural village of Tetney for 40 years and warned it has already become a dumping ground for household appliances, mattresses and waste.

He added: "We used to talk of Tetney as being the first proper village to the south of Grimsby/Cleethorpes.

"It now seems to be the capital of planning permission for Lincolnshire. I can name about eight sites where large-scale housing developments are taking place.

"The village has no facilities apart from an excellent Spar shop. Police presence is non-existent.

Won’t pay your council tax? Here’s your rights…

Failing to pay council tax will mean you owe money to your local authority. It can lead to serious legal trouble.

Council tax arrears are known as a priority debt, meaning they need to be paid before other debts like credit cards.

And councils are likely to take residents to court to get the money. Hundreds of pounds could be added to your overall bill after court costs and possibly bailiff fees.

In extreme cases, usually only if you deliberately don't pay your tax, you could go to prison for up to three months.

If you can't afford to pay your council tax, Citizens Advice recommends asking if you can pay in smaller amounts. Those on a low income may be able to get a tax bill reduction.

When you miss a payment, the council will send a reminder about two weeks later.

If you don't then pay within seven days, you'll be sent a final notice. This will tell you to pay all your council tax for the rest of the year within seven days.

The council will then apply to courts for permission to collect the debt if it remains unpaid after this deadline.

Officials can take money from benefits payments like income support, universal credit and pension credit.

"The roads are in a shocking state. The only benefit I derive from the Council is what used to be the fortnightly collection of rubbish. This has always worked very well."

Ward councillor for Tetney, Councillor Steve McMillan said: "I would never recommend withholding council tax by anyone.

"It has to be paid for. It is a legal requirement. It is not for him to decide on the level."

He added: "East Lindsey District Council has gone to a lot of trouble to provide the new purple lid bins which are for clean paper and card. It costs a lot to separate them from recycling.

"This is a way of saving money in the long-run.

"The light grey bins will be for recycling plastic and cans and now residents will be able to recycle their glass which will be collected and save them going to their bottle banks, like the one we have on Tetney Lock Road."

Portfolio holder for operational services at ELDC, Councillor Martin Foster said: "I am disappointed he feels we have let him down.

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"The new recycling system is being rolled out in partnership with Lincolnshire County Council and they have officers who will visit people and will discuss options. I shall put the case to our administrative wing and officers will talk with the resident.

"We have around 75,000 households and some of them received an assisted collection service. We try to help where we can."

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