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Alun Jones on BBC SurreyTory Tip Tax
Liberal Democrat County Councillors have expressed their surprise and anger after it was revealed that Surrey's unpopular "Tory Tip Tax", where residents are charged to use local Community Recycling Centres (CRCs), could be illegal.

Legislation was passed in March 2015 by the then coalition government which prevented councils from charging residents to use household waste recycling centres, either at the point of entry, exit or disposal. The government guidance makes it clear that residents should not be charged for disposing of any waste from DIY, as it considers DIY waste from households as a type of household waste. But Tory-run Surrey County Council last month introduced charges for people disposing of household waste from DIY, despite opposition from the Liberal Democrats and local residents, and a consultation which resulted in massive opposition to the scheme.

Cllr Stephen Cooksey, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson on Highways and Environment, said today:

"What a mess the Tories have got themselves in! The last government rightly passed legislation to encourage residents to recycle and protecting them from charges. But Surrey County Council has pushed through its unpopular "Tory Tip Tax" regardless of what the law says. I am calling for an urgent re-think from the county council as we should be doing everything in our power to make it easier for people to recycle and in doing so, protect our beautiful countryside from fly-tipping. Surrey should pay back the money it has taken from residents if these charges are found to be illegal. And I have written to the Department for Communities and Local Government asking them to take action against Surrey County Council and pointing out to them that they are not above the law.

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