Liverpool Council has shelved plans worth hundreds of thousands of pounds to charge private landlords for pest control.
As part of its budget setting process for this year, the local authority had agreed a plan to ask private landlords and social housing providers to pay for treatments in a bid to raise £200,000 a year. Emails seen by the ECHO from Liverpool Council show that the scheme has now quietly been dropped.
Introduction of the additional charge was first discussed in October last year as the council sought to set its annual budget. The fees were included as part of an initial package totalling more than £18m, including the controversial green bin charge.
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Funds will now be needed to be drawn from other areas of the council to cover the loss of mooted income. An email from council officer Chris Lomas, seen by the ECHO, confirmed the policy has been abandoned.
It said: “The decision not to implement charges to landlords at this time will require compensatory savings from other sources of income in the directorate in the current financial year. Our directorate budget monitor projection for end of year shows we are able to bridge the gap within the Environment division I manage.”
It is thought that the policy was shelved last month before being confirmed by Mr Lomas. Cllr Steve Radford, leader of the Liberal Party group, expressed concern that how the savings would be made had not been explained.
He said: “I am pleased to hear that the budget option for Pest Control charges has been dropped. How we are going to bridge the gap not to charge has not been communicated to elected members.”
The pest control charge was part of proposed savings of £2.3m per year from the environment directorate within the council. The authority has already made its annual target of £1.7m from the green bin charge – ahead of schedule.
Non‐statutory Library Services forming part of the external grants review, ending the provision of homeless enhancement cleaning team and a £10 annual charge for sharps collections were also put forward as part of the savings package.
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