St Peter Port's senior and junior Constables have written to their parish Deputies calling for a number of issues to be addressed before Guernsey's Waste Strategy is introduced.
Dennis Le Moignan and Jenny Tasker wrote that many Parishioners have raised several concerns which mainly centre around the "greatly increased costs" to some ratepayers along with "the likelihood of increased levels of fly-tipping and general non-compliance."
The letter which was sent to each Deputy representing St Peter Port North or South this week has been posted on social media too, attracting comments from members of the public who share some of the concerns raised.
The letter said, that with the Waste Strategy implementation and charging structure coming before the States during a meeting scheduled to start on Wednesday 18 April, it was considered an opportune time to raise the "several concerns" which the Douzaine have and which have been "voiced by many Parishioners" which centre on those concerns about increased costs and fly-tipping.
The concerns raised by the St Peter Port Constables are not unique to the Parish, with many island residents having raised the same and similar concerns over recent years as decisions were made about dealing with Guernsey's waste.
Now, the St Peter Port Constables have decided to put their concerns on record, writing that "Whilst the means of funding capital costs have not yet been decided, and hence the balance between WDA flat fees and per bag sticker charges is not yet known" the Parish authorities are "concerned that the overall cost of waste disposal will be unaffordable for many of the lower paid, pensioners and those on a fixed income."
Mr Le Moignan and Mrs Tasker also said that "whilst those receiving social security benefits will have assistance in meeting these costs, many others will struggle with the estimated £7 per week" compared to the existing TRP based Rates system which they said sees many people paying less than £1.00 a week for waste collection at the moment.
As well as the cost, the St Peter Port Douzaine is worried about increasing levels of fly-tipping when the new Waste Strategy is introduced, warning that it will have a "major effect on the level of fly-tipping we can expect across the island."
Mr Le Moignan and Mrs Tasker wrote that if the proposed sticker price is set at £4.80 "there will be resistance from the public and we will find unpaid black sacks either left on the roads and pavements or dumped in coastal bins." The St Peter Port Constables have said policing this should be a responsibility delegated indefinitely to the WDA to resolve.
Pictured: File image of rubbish found behind houses in Maison Collivet, St Peter Port
Other "practical concerns" which the town Constables say will affect St Peter Port more than the island's rural parishes centre on a lack of storage space in some properties, the number of multi-occupancy dwellings in St Peter Port and the unsuitability of many existing eurobins at housing complexes along with other worries which have been raised.
The pair wrote that "whilst we accept that solutions for some problems will evolve, we do expect that our streets will not be kept as clean as before", explaining that as "St Peter Port is a "tourist hub" and we cannot have a situation where waste is uncollected even for 24 hours" adding that during the summer months the uncollected waste will be spread all over the roads by seagulls and vermin.
Mr Le Moignan and Mrs Tasker are not asking for the Waste Strategy to be scrapped, but say they want all of these issues fully debated by the island's government.
Pictured: File image of the Waste Transfer Station being built at Longue Hougue
In response to the letter, a spokesman for States Trading Assets told Express that it acknowledges some issues do need to be addressed before the Waste Strategy is introduced: “A new system is being introduced that will have a number of benefits, but as with any change there are some potential challenges we will need to address. That could be people setting out waste on the wrong nights, or in the morning when the collection is not until the evening, or not displaying the appropriate payment sticker. Those sort of incidents, some of which may be accidental, we will deal with first through communications but if necessary we will be able to follow that up by issuing fixed penalty fines."
STSB also again said that fly-tipping will not be tolerated: “There is a distinction to be made between this sort of non-compliance and actual fly-tipping. The latter is where someone has deliberately gone out of their way to dispose of material illegally. The majority of islanders are not going to resort to such criminal, anti-social behaviour but for those that do, we will look to prosecute them, and the offence carries heavy penalties.”
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