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Wirral to consider dropping controversial waste charge

A controversial charge for a bulky waste collection service may be axed following a massive drop in its use and accusations of increases in fly-tipping.

Liberal Democrat and Conservative councillors on Merseyside's Wirral Council are calling for a report into the effect on the authority's budget by scrapping charges on removal of bulky waste from people's homes.

A £15 charge was introduced four months ago on the Eric service and since that time the number of calls to the service has dropped by 80% and 58 extra tonnes of rubbish had been illegally dumped in the borough.

Liberal Democrat councillor Ann Bridson said: "I know council officers say fly-tipping is on the increase everywhere, but we feel the rise in dumping here is related to the charges."

She added that the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives had banded together to outvote Labour councillors to force a rethink and look at the implications on council tax bills.

The drop in calls had led to a shortfall of £250,000 in expected income from the service based on the charge being introduced.

A spokesman for the council said: "Increases in the amount of fly-tipping reported cannot be directly attributed to changes in the Eric service.

"Fly-tipping has gone up nationally and does so every year. Added to that, Wirral is now recording it more effectively."

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