Petition opposing Fenland District Council's plans to charge for disposal for diabetic needles reaches over 500 signatures
Over 500 people have signed a petition calling for Fenland District Council to abandon plans to charge for disposing of clinical waste including diabetic needles.
The petition launched last week by Sue Marshall has garnered support from residents angry at the council's decision to charge £8 for the collection of clinical waste after the NHS announced it was no longer going to continue the free service it runs through GP surgeries and pharmacies.
It is the council's legal obligation to provide the service, even though the NHS has been doing it in the past.
Councillor Virginia Bucknor, who first raised the issue after a briefing note was sent out to members by officers explaining the decision to charge, is furious that there appears to have been no consultation or public debate.
She said : "I have received dozens of emails and phone calls from people upset by the charges. There are lots of awful stories from people about their clinical waste by the one that's got to me is the mother of a newborn with Type 1 diabetes, who fills up a sharps box every few weeks.
"She shouldn't have to pay for safely disposing of needles when it's part of the necessity of keeping her baby alive."
The petition has now reached the minimum number of signatures required to force Fenland Council to debate the issue and it will be presented on September 13.
In her online petition Sue claims the charges are discriminatory and against the Equalities Act.
She said despite lots of research she has been unable to find another local council that charges for disposing of clinical waste.
Sue said: "Fenland residents did not choose to have health issues. Under the Equality Act 2010 it is illegal for service providers to discriminate against people because of their disability.
"We therefore urge Fenland District Council to reconsider this decision to charge private households for the collection of hygiene and clinical waste."
To sign the petition visit: https://www.change.org/p/fenland-district-council-fenland-d-c-drop-the-8-charge-for-the-collection-of-clinical-waste-and-sharps-boxes