A HOUSEHOLD booked 60 free bulk waste collections from an East Lancs authority, councillors were told.

Town hall chiefs in Pendle say this appears to illustrate a ‘mad’ and costly situation regarding free services which needs to be reviewed.

The council currently offers free bulk waste collections for local homes. It also offers free collections for home DIY waste.

Conservative Cllr Sarah Cockburn-Price highlighted one household’s requests which had caught her attention.

She said: “I have generally always been in favour of bulk waste collections because I thought they help prevent fly-tipping.

"However, I’ve spoken to the people who deal with these things and looked at various issues to consider.

“There is one household which has booked 60 bulk waste collections. That seems like more than one a week. That’s mad.

"How much is that costing the council? We have to look at things like this. Are these types of services just benefitting a few individual households rather than bringing environmental benefits?”

But Liberal Democrat Cllr David Whipp, in the same debate, criticised Tory moves to change rotas for mechanical street-sweeping machines.

He said: “It was said £24,000 would be saved. However £20,000 would have to be paid to our provider because of a contract. The fifth mechanical sweeper sat unused in a yard for months.

"We had complaints from all over the area, such as Trawden and Kelbrook, from residents who were no longer seeing regular mechanical sweeping. Is this what Pendle Council thinks is efficient? It was a cut. Not a saving. ”

On the street sweepers, Cllr Cockburn-Price said savings would arise over a number of years to come rather than focusing on the one-off contract issue.

Councillors have agreed to launch a new policy to regularly review fees and charges for services to both residents and businesses.

In general, officers say charges should ensure customers make a contribution to the cost of providing a service,  unless there is a specific decision by councillors to subsidise the service.

Charges will typically be increased each April in line with previous autumn’s Consumer Prices Index inflation rate. But final fee and charge decisions will be taken by councillors.