A campaign kicked off this week to throw Cotswolds primary schools a cash lifeline.
Cllr Paul Hodgkinson (Lib Dem Parliamentary Candidate for the Cotswolds) is calling for primary schools to be included in Cotswold District Council’s waste collection service.
At present, all primary schools are classed as ‘businesses’ and have to pay for their waste to be collected by private contractors.
Cllr Hodgkinson (CDC, Churn Valley) believes the time is right for the Council to be flexible:
“I have previously asked the Leader of the Council to be bold and generous on this issue but it fell on deaf ears. His administration currently doesn’t collect waste from primary schools in the district. However, small rural schools like Chedworth, Southrop and North Cerney pay as much as £1,000 each year for this – when their budgets are very stretched.
“At the moment a school like Temple Guiting has to pay for a private waste lorry to come into the village especially to pick up one or two bins of rubbish. That doesn’t make any sense from a green or cash perspective.
“Given that CDC’s domestic waste lorries literally drive past the schools every time they collect rubbish from residents and could easily pick up their bins, I feel the Council should throw a lifeline to our small schools by including them in waste collections. This would save schools much needed cash.”
Now, Cllr Hodgkinson has joined forces with North Cerney Primary School Governor Jenny Forde by writing to all 44 Cotswolds primary schools asking them to back the campaign. Ms Forde, who lives in Bagendon, feels that schools work hard to make small budgets go a long way:
“Every single penny makes a difference to our children’s education. I think it would stick in most people’s throats if they knew they were paying twice for waste collection – through their council tax and through public money that goes towards our state schools.
“This solution seems like common sense to help our schools out so they can put taxpayer’s money to better use to educating our children.”
Once they have heard from all primary schools in the area, Cllr Hodgkinson will present the responses to a Cotswold District Council meeting with Ms Forde.