I read with some interest your article on the introduction of charges for green waste in Harrogate. Of particular interest was Coun Harrison defending the introduction of charges based on the fact only 60 per cent of people benefit from the service. I personally welcome this new ‘pay-as-you go’ approach to Council Tax as I haven’t used any council service, nor used Police, Fire or Ambulance and we don’t have street lighting in our village.
I therefore don’t ‘benefit’ from any of these services so can presumably look forward to a substantial rebate on my council tax bill next year! This is obviously tongue in cheek but the serious point here is that justifying charges based on usage or benefit sets a dangerous precedent.
It is clear that council funding is under pressure from reducing central grants - I do wish the council wouldn’t dress up charges for things such as green waste as based on ‘benefit’ as they are in reality nothing more than a soft target for ways to increase their revenue.
The danger is that this is the thin end of the wedge and all Harrogate residents should be concerned about where additional charges will next be introduced.