PENDLE residents will have to decide whether to pay £25 to have their garden waste collected as the council sends out information packs over the next three weeks.

The council voted to introduce the controversial charge earlier this year, and between now and May 11, residents will receive the pack and a letter in the post.

The pack has full details of how the subscription scheme works and tells residents how they can make their annual £25 payment.

Philip Mousdale, deputy chief executive, said: “We have had to make changes to how we finance some of our services against a backdrop of tighter budgets than we’ve ever faced before.

“The annual garden waste subscription charge is £25 per bin – this equates to 50p per week. This will not make a profit for the council, but cover the costs of providing the service.”

The plans were initially met with anger when they were mooted in September last year, with councillors in the Lib Dem group raising their concerns.

Coun David Whipp said: “We have very reluctantly had to go along with this. It is not very welcome but given the Government cuts and the dire straits the council is in, it is one of the things we have had to do.

“One of the alternatives was a charge for collection of bulky household items, which would have caused more of a problem with fly-tipping than this.

“It’s important to note that people don’t have to pay this fee. They can make their own arrangements, such as taking it to the Household Waste Recycling Centres or composting it.”

The new garden waste subscription scheme starts on June 30. Until that date, collections will continue as normal, without a charge.