Waste charges planned by Fenland District Council will be properly debated following presentation of petition
Fenland District Council has announced a stay of execution on the introduction of charges for the disposal of clinical waste - including diabetic needles.
The move came at Thursday's full council meeting when campaigner Sue Marshall presented an 800 plus signature petition opposing the council's plans to charge £8 for adhoc clinical waste collections.
It is Fenland's statutory duty to remove clinical waste from households, but NHS England has provided a free service for the collection of sharps boxes through pharmacies and GP surgeries for many years.
They have announced plans to cease the service meaning the job will fall back on Fenland Council, hence an announcement in July that it was postponing introducing charges until September 1, and then announcing a further postponement until January following a public backlash.
Councillor Virginia Bucknor, who first raised the issue back in July, said Thursday's meeting had been heated but said the outcome, which saw a motion to delay looking at introducing charges until NHS England has actually announced when it will be ending its service was a step in the right direction.
However, she labelled some of the discussion 'ludicrous' when she said Councillor Peter Murphy talked about "a man and a van" collecting sharps boxes across the district.
She said: "It is absolutely ridiculous to consider that kind of service. It would make much more sense to look at providing collection points where people can take their full boxes and pick up a new one.
"At least we have now started to have a proper debate about the charges, which means we can hopefully find the best way of dealing with situation. It will now have to come back before the council rather than be left to cabinet to make a decision."