Barking dad asks for council tax rebate as binmen strike continues

Barking resident Steve Roberts has started a petition asking not to pay council tax because of the o

Barking resident Steve Roberts has started a petition asking not to pay council tax because of the ongoing bin strikes. Picture: Ellie Hoskins - Credit: Archant

A fed-up dad from Barking has started a petition to protest against the mounting piles of rubbish in his neighbourhood.

Steve Roberts, 38, says he’s supportive of the ongoing strikes by GMB binmen, but thinks it is the council’s responsibility to sort out refuse collection in the meantime.

“Residents should not have to pay full council tax if there has not been a refuse and recycle collection over a week excluding bank holidays,” writes Mr Roberts on his petition, which has gathered nearly 2,000 signatures in just two days.

Speaking to the Post¸ the dad-of-four added: “We are all living in squalor. They haven’t collected for a good three weeks or more.

“At the moment we are doing everything we can to keep recycling but we aren’t able to now the bins aren’t being collected.

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“I pay in the region of £160 a month in council tax. If we aren’t getting the bins collected, then what is it for?”

The dispute comes after the council said they would slash the time for pre-start checks from 30 to 15 minutes, which could see workers lose £1,000 from their contracted wage.

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A spokesman for the council said: “Council tax is a statutory tax paying for a range of local services and facilities all year round, not only refuse and recycling. Even though there has been disruption to collection, the law does not permit you to withhold payment of your council tax or in this case ask for a refund.

“The council is providing a refuse collection service which we agree has been impacted by the strike. We are also putting in place alternative arrangements while the strike continues.

“We apologise for the inconvenience the strike is causing our residents.”

You can read the petition here.

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