DUDLEY Council has scrapped plans to charge for green waste collections following a backlash from residents.

Council bosses have announced residents will get the option to pay for an extended green waste collection whilst the current 32-week fortnightly collections will remain free.

Currently, collections stop at the beginning of November and resume in March.

Under the proposals announced today (January 7), residents will have the option of paying for six extra collections, three in the Autumn and three in Spring, for £30 whilst still receiving the free collections.

This comes after a petition against charging for green waste collections in Dudley achieved over 3,000 signatures.

Stourbridge News: Cllr Karen Shakespeare. Cllr Karen Shakespeare.

Councillor Karen Shakespeare, cabinet member for public realm, said: “We know how much people have valued the green waste service and we have to make sure that we do what we can to provide options to meet our resident’s needs.

“I know the current service, which stops over the whole winter period, is a frustration to many keen gardeners who have asked for it to be extended.

“At the same time, some residents are quite happy with the current collection period.

“Many councils do charge for the whole green waste service, and this is an option we have of course had to consider.

“But we have now looked at how we can do things differently by offering an additional option to our residents throughout the winter months."

The council received detail on the government settlement, after budget proposals had been announced in December, which shows £1.7million more coming to the authority than was originally forecast.

Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of Dudley Council, said: “This is about giving people choice.

"Our government settlement is £1.7million better off than we forecast and we should take advantage of that good news by easing the burden on local people.

"This favourable settlement came after our initial budget setting proposals but now means we can now make a small adjustment which will have a big, positive impact on the people of this borough.

“We will do everything we can not to add to the potential rise in the cost-of-living people of this borough could face.”

If plans are approved by full council in March, the option to take up the additional paid for collections will start from Autumn this year.

Meanwhile, the normal free collections will start up again this year from March 28.