'There are a lot of people who can't afford it'

A pensioner in a blue jacket and rimmed glasses smiles for the camera
Lizzie Philips said people in the county had done well to avoid the charge for so long [BBC]

The charge is too high but there is no money in the council pot - just some reactions from residents who face paying a new annual garden waste collection fee.

Shropshire Council has said it can no longer afford to provide the service for free as it attempts to save £62.5m from its budget this financial year.

"I think we live in an age now where we just accept things as there's only so much money in the pot," said Lizzie Philips from Wem, who said she would have to pay.

Matthew Jones said he would also be forced to pay the £56 fee to avoid waste "piling up," but the service should not be charged for in addition to council tax.

A man holding a black dog in his arms looks at the camera
Matthew Jones from Wem said the council should not be charging extra for the service [BBC]

"It's sad times, I don't want to be spending any money on that type of thing," stated Mr Jones, who said people worked hard to pay their council tax, and garden waste collection should be part of that bill.

"It's only a pound a week if you break it down," said Ms Philips, who said Shropshire had "done well" as other councils were already charging for garden waste collection.

Neighbouring Cheshire East Council has already introduced a £56 charge, while in Stoke-on-Trent it is now £40.

"I can probably manage to pay it, but something else would have to go," stated Jean James, who thought £56 was too high.

"There are a lot of poor people around here who can't afford it," she said.

A smiling woman stood next to plants
Jean James said she could just about manage to pay the fee, but there would be many who would not be able to [BBC]

Shropshire Council said the new charge would generate £4m a year if 70% of households signed up.

A series of revenue-raising and cost-cutting measures, in addition to job losses, are due to be discussed by the authority's cabinet.

It has also said that all five household recycling centres are set to remain open, but will close one day a week to save money.

A booking system is being introduced, which the council says will save £200,000 a year.

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