Last chance to have your say on possible changes to waste & recycling collections. OUR SURVEY closes on 23 September

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Have YOUR SAY on future of bin collections

We're urging you to have your say on possible changes to your waste and recycling collections before a public consultation closes on 23 September.

The District Council, which organises collections across 34,000 Dales households, has started the process of shaping the future collection service ahead of the current contract with Serco ending in August 2020.

The online survey has been promoted widely and shared with all parish councils in the Dales since it was launched on 14 August. and has already been completed by well over 1,700 people.

A District Council spokesperson said:

“The first thing to reiterate is that no decisions have yet been taken, but these are challenging times.

“The current waste collection contract costs the District Council approximately £1.9 million per year but we know this could rise significantly due to increased service delivery costs, changes in the value of recyclable material and the level of liability bidders are likely to accept.

“The challenge facing the council is striking a balance of meeting our residents’ needs against the provision of an affordable service. We can achieve this by considering options that maintain our levels of recycling, encourage greater recycling, or reclaim some costs to help us afford the current collection frequency.

“One of the big questions residents are asking is why there isn’t an option in the online survey to leave things as they are. The answer is simple: even though we are not ruling out keeping things the same, we do not want to set false expectations.

"The status quo might not be affordable, so it is essential to review other possible alternatives. That’s why we are consulting the public - to help us understand what aspects of the waste and recycling collection scheme are most important to them and which possible alternatives they would be willing to consider. Without this information, we will be solely relying on market information and affordability to design a specification.”

The Derbyshire Dales currently achieves a 57% recycling rate – the best in Derbyshire - but the UK has a legislative target to meet 65% recycling in the future, which means the District Council has to consider further measures to increase its recycling performance.

Options being considered include charging for garden waste collections in line with many other councils in the UK and reducing general household waste collections from fortnightly to every three or four weeks, which has been proven in other areas to increase recycling rates and make the waste service more affordable.

Waste collection costs, on average, £34.63 per household a year - just under 67p a week - and represents 20% of what households pay to the District Council in Council Tax.

The spokesperson added:

"Successive central government grant cuts - including a further £637,000 reduction for 2018/19 - mean we need more money to continue to provide the frontline services residents expect. The level of government grant we receive will have reduced from £3.5m in 2013/14 to £0.5m by 2020/21, which means, even after making substantial savings in recent times, we have to find additional ongoing savings of £700,000 over the next three years.

"That's the stark reality of the District Council's financial position and something councillors will be taking account of when they meet on 29 November to decide on the preferred service option from August 2020."

Immediately following that meeting work will begin drafting the tender specification for the new waste and recycling contract.

  • The waste review is one of the items currently being discussed at a series of area community forums, and a video of the 10 September Matlock forum can be viewed again below.

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Discounted tickets on sale for 2018 Illuminations

Discounted online tickets have gone on sale for our showpiece autumn event Matlock Bath Illuminations.

This year adults pay £6 on Saturdays and £5 on Sundays if they buy online in advance. Accompanied under 16s continue to be free, with concessions available for OAPs.

People who buy on the night will pay £7.50 on Saturdays and £6.50 on Sundays - £1.50 more expensive than the online prices.

Online bookers will be fast-tracked into the Derwent Gardens for this year's season, which will run every weekend from Saturday 8 September to Sunday 28 October.

Every Saturday during the eight-week spectacular – and the final night - will include a fireworks finale, with numbers in Derwent Gardens again restricted to a maximum of 6,000 to improve crowd movement and enjoyment for visitors.

A District Council spokesperson said: “Our aim once again this year is to operate this fabulous regional event at no cost to local Council Tax payers. Last year the Illuminations attracted 52,087 paying visitors, but we estimate around 100,000 people were drawn to Matlock Bath by the unique atmosphere generated, effectively extending the village’s tourist season and providing a big boost for the local economy.”

To enhance the reputation of Sundays as a "family night", the event will start and finish earlier than Saturdays, running from 6-8pm to take account of younger visitors having school the following morning.

During the 2018 Illuminations - the 121st – the organisers will once again focus on good signage to the popular park and ride service, effective stewarding and enforcement officers to police pedlars on the streets of Matlock Bath.

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