Garden Waste Bins

Most of you will be aware of the new charging regime for garden waste bins being introduced this year. Removal of household waste remains a statutory obligation for the Council, and not one that it may charge for. This includes food waste which will be collected weekly from food caddies to be provided. While this will mean an additional container, the alternative would be to allow food waste to be put in the ‘residual waste’ (i.e. purple) bins. Although this would have saved money, it was considered a worse option from an environmental point of view and was rejected. The new caddies will be 23l in capacity, enough for a week, so considerably bigger than the old ones, which are at most 4l.

Householders who pay for garden waste bins will be able to continue to use them for food waste, but with a fortnightly collection, and leave their new caddy unused. Bonfires are allowed, provided they do not create a nuisance, which can reduce garden waste; householders may have more than one brown bin (at £40 pa each) or can share.

Forthcoming NHDC meetings

The meeting of the NHDC Cabinet on 21st January is expected to review the revenue budget and capital spending programme for the next civic year; these items will be referred to full Council on 8 February 2018.

Both these meetings are open to members of the public. Please check the NHDC website for details of the location for each meeting as the District Council offices in Gernon Road are currently out of action. The office refurbishment is expected to be finished by the end of the first quarter.

Enhanced provision for the homeless

NHDC remains responsible for homelessness, even though it no longer owns any housing stock having transferred its former stock to North Herts Homes in 2004.

Although homelessness in North Herts is very low (at the last count under five families), for those affected it can be devastating, and NHDC has a number of housing officers who help avoid homelessness and provide assistance to those affected. Currently, in some cases, families can end up being housed in temporary accommodation in adjacent areas. The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017, which comes into force in April 2018, is likely to increase the load on NHDC who are actively considering establishing a Housing Company that will own residential accommodation to be used for temporary accommodation.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy New Year and my best wishes for 2018.