Council devolve cash as recycling thank you

July 17, 2007 12:00 AM

In a demonstration of commitment to devolution of money and decisions down to Townships, Rochdale Council's Cabinet have devolved £1.25 million to the four townships boroughwide. Some of the money comes as thank-you from the council for residents recycling efforts.

The money comes from 2 sources:

First, £950,000 of Highways Capital money that Townships will be able to spend on schemes in their areas in a way that fits in with local priorities. This is the start of real devolution in the highways service, where councillors promote and deliver schemes for their communities. This devolution will be done on an annual basis, depending what monies are available, and after Cabinet has agreed the strategic or boroughwide schemes for the year.

Second, £300,000 is devolved from savings in the Waste Disposal Levy, caused by high recycling and low landfill across the Borough.

Finance boss Councillor William Hobhouse said: "This is a thank you to residents for the efforts they are making to recycle. We were expecting a 10% increase in landfill charges this year. This was the average expected increase across Greater Manchester. However, many residents are now recycling at levels way above previous years, and this means that our bill from Greater Manchester Waste Authority will be less than expected. In this case, if residents make the effort to recycle, we believe that the money they help the Council to save should be devolved back into their communities."

The year before Alternate Weekly Collections (AWCs), people on the Friday collection recycled 25 tonnes per week, after the introduction of AWCs they recycled 80 tonnes per week and according to recent figures the new Wednesday collections show a similar trend.

A report by the Executive Director of Resources Margaret Carney stated: "The devolved resources would be available to spend on any projects within Township powers. However, at this stage it will only be available in 2007/08 and therefore must be spent on one off projects and not used to support ongoing activities. This condition is due to uncertainty around the future cost of waste disposal.

"The Council is committed to increasing devolution to Townships. The proposal in this report is consistent with this approach and provides an uncommitted resource which can be used at the discretion of individual Townships in line with their priorities and Township plans."