HOUSEHOLDS in Craven that do not opt into garden waste collections will no longer be expected to subsidise the service, if a new standardised rate is agreed by senior North Yorkshire councillors - but it will mean an increase for those who do of £8 per year.

Currently, there are seven different garden waste collection services in the county, one for each district or borough. Councils are not legally required to collect garden waste and carry it out on a discretionary basis.

Charges vary from £25 for an annual permit in Richmondshire, to £41 in Harrogate; the cost to have garden waste collected in Craven is £36. An increase has already been agreed by all councils of six per cent from spring 2023.

Now, North Yorkshire County Council is proposing to bring all areas in the county in line with the regional average of £44 per year, and to charge £43.50 across the board.

Councillor Derek Bastiman, North Yorkshire County Council's executive member for business and economic development, said: “We recognise that the cost-of-living crisis is having an impact on residents and the need to be fair to everyone when looking to raise any fee or charge.

“In this instance, the picture across the whole county is not the same and in some areas people who do not want this service are paying for it. This is a service people choose to opt into and it is important that we are clear on the need for it to pay for itself, alongside our commitment to continue to provide it to those residents who would like to receive it.

“There are real benefits to the service, including the environmental benefits of recycling garden waste and the convenience of not having to take your own garden waste to a recycling centre. It may well be cheaper than paying the fuel to get there, too.

“So, we have looked carefully at what other councils in Yorkshire and the Humber charge and considered any special cases. This charge is reasonable in terms of the regional picture and to cover the costs of continuing to deliver it given the financial pressures we face

Based on a harmonised fee of £43.50, the service would expect to generate an additional £500,000, depending on the number of subscribers. This income would be used to offset the costs of delivery.

The council executive will be asked to agree the new rate on January 10.