Wealden District Council
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Will there be a rebate for garden waste collection service not collected during strike action?

6 July 2022


Dear Councillor Newton,

With regards to the bin strike. Wealden has stated there will be no rebate. Why? Regardless of how much of the Council Tax is collected and retained by Wealden with regards to refuse collected, a service is not being fulfilled.

Are there not defaults in the contract with Biffa and if so, why are these not being collected?

If there are defaults then I assume Wealden will be better off financially so why is this not passed onto the tax payer?

What defaults are written into the contract with Biffa regarding strike action?

Also, the garden waste has not been collected. We pay separately for this, so can you tell me what rebate or free months we will get in future?

Wealden should also take into account, the number of times an individual has taken their own & neighbours (no vehicle) refuse to the refuse site. I have now done this twice, which involves separating refuse into different bags to dispose of it correctly. There is also the cost of transporting this waste to the site with increasing petrol prices as well as time lost being in a queue at the site in excess of 45 minutes.

As it seems the strike will go on until the end of June then I envisage more trips to the refuse site. This benefits Wealden as it stops a build-up of waste on the streets and helps towards possible health issues, what form of compensation off of our Council Tax charge is  Wealden considering for a lack of service and our time and expense.


Dear Mr Richings,

Thank you for your question and apologies for the delay in providing a response. This has been due to officers dealing with the industrial action which has now ended.

We are unable to offer a Council Tax refund in response to the industrial action.  Only 9% of Council Tax collected by Wealden District Council is retained by the council, with the remainder being collected on behalf of East Sussex County Council, town and parish councils, the Office of the Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner and East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service.

Council Tax retained by Wealden District Council is used to provide a wide range of services, with waste services only making up a small proportion of the total sum. We appreciate that it is frustrating that services have been affected but please continue to pay your Council Tax bill as usual.

Although a refund is not available for garden waste collections, in recognition of the disruption to the collection service during the bin strike and to help residents manage at a time where there are increasing cost of living pressures on households, we are freezing the price for the garden waste collection service until 2024.  This means that Wealden’s garden collection service will stay at £55 per bin per year until at least July 2024.

The council will not be paying its waste contractor, Biffa, for the services it was unable to deliver during the strike.  However, to facilitate the catch up collection and removal of the excess waste that accumulated during the strike Biffa are deploying additional resources and the council will be contributing towards those costs.  Whilst the recovery work remains on-going the balance of cost and saving continues to be calculated.  Should there be an overall underspend as a result, councillors may wish to compensate local communities for the inconvenience that has been caused.  Previously this has been through grants to parish councils which enables them to spend money locally on projects in and for the benefit of their local community.