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Petition launched to fight Fenland's plans to introduce charges to dispose of clinical waste including diabetic needles



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Fenland District Council is facing a backlash over plans to introduce charging for the disposal of clinical waste and sharp boxes.

People will soon have to pay their clinical waste removed including diabetic needles. (3283157)
People will soon have to pay their clinical waste removed including diabetic needles. (3283157)

The Citizen reported last month the council is set to introduce an £8 charge for collecting sharp boxes, including those of diabetics, after the NHS announced it would be ending the service it currently operates in pharmacies and doctors’ surgeries.

Whilst the NHS has offered the service for years, the legal responsibility lays with the district council.

Councillor Virginia Bucknor is outraged at Fenland's plans to charge for disposal of diabetic needles and other clinical waste. (3283247)
Councillor Virginia Bucknor is outraged at Fenland's plans to charge for disposal of diabetic needles and other clinical waste. (3283247)

Wisbech councillor Virginia Bucknor has been spearheading opposition to the proposals. She said: “Since we had the briefing note from officers about the proposed introduction of charges I have been trying to get answers on how this was decided.

“I have also visited as many other district council websites as I can to see whether or not they are charging for this service and so far I have been unable to find one other authority that is doing this.

“It is discriminatory, no-one chooses to have diabetes and they have no choice but to use needles for their life-saving insulin injections. I am horrified at the suggestion vulnerable patients may end up paying to get rid of their unwanted clinical waste.”

Wisbech woman Sue Marshall has launched an online petition opposing the move. She said: “There has been no consultation with residents whatsoever. Despite the decision by the NHS, there is no other council in Cambridgeshire that we could find that is now charging for this service.

“Without any advance notice to residents, chemists or health centres, Fenland Council’s Cabinet advised councillors by email in July that they would be charging residents for removal of sharp boxes and clinical waste. This decision to charge residents is against the 2010 Discrimination Act. We therefore urge Fenland Council to reconsider this decision.”

Visit: www.change.org to sign Sue’s petition.



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