Warrington Borough Council’s attempt to mend fences with its green bin subscribers has backfired spectacularly, with a hidden price hike lurking beneath the surface of a seemingly generous offer (Warrington Guardian, January 18).

While the council trumpets a 2024 price freeze and bonus collections, a closer look reveals a crafty cost-cutting measure that leaves residents £4.78 (12.3%) worse off compared to last year.

The saga began in 2023, when strike action led to five missed collections out of 18. At £2.16 per collection, this amounted to a £10.80 loss for subscribers.

To appease disgruntled residents, the council offered two extra collections in late 2023, worth a mere £4.32.

This token gesture falls woefully short of compensating for the inconvenience and leaves a deficit of £6.48 per household.

Adding insult to injury, the touted 2024 price freeze of £39 masks a potential 4.35% increase (£40.70) based on historical trends. This means the “freeze” merely prevents a price hike residents were already bracing for, offering no real saving. Combining the 2023 collection shortfall, the missed price hike saving, and the council’s price “freeze” sleight of hand, residents are saddled with a net loss of £8.18 each.

Multiply that by the 44,000 subscribers in Warrington, and the council pockets a cool £210,320 from this questionable strategy. Furthermore, the two extra collections offered for 2024 primarily benefit the autumn months, when leaves fall and lawns are mowed.

The bulk of the 2023 missed collections, however, occurred during peak usage periods disrupted by strikes.

This timing suggests the bonus collections are a mere fig leaf, failing to address the significant inconvenience and additional costs incurred by residents when they needed the service most.

Warrington Borough Council’s green bin scheme for 2024 paints a picture of fiscal sleight of hand, not genuine customer care.

The advertised price freeze and bonus collections are, in reality, a smokescreen for a hidden price hike and inadequate compensation.

Residents deserve transparency and accountability, not backhanded deals that leave them feeling shortchanged and betrayed.