A KEY council scrutiny committee is urging Huntingdonshire District Council’s cabinet not to accept a proposal to charge householders £40 a year to empty second green bins.

The move had been suggested as a way of increasing the cash-strapped council's income. But it was unanimously opposed by HDC's environmental well-being scrutiny panel because of its adverse effect on recycling rates, the likely damage to the public's opinion of the council, the potential for an increase in fly-tipping and the level of the charge compared with the district council portion of the Council Tax - addition of nearly one-third to the benchmark Band D levy.

The Hemingfords, with almost 800 second green bins, and Ramsey, with nearly 700, would be the wards most affected by the imposition of a second green bin levy. In all, nearly 8,000 households in the district have second green bins.

Huntingdonshire is one of the most successful recycling areas in Britain, with green waste accounting for 31 per cent of recycled material.

The economic well-being scrutiny panel will consider the issue at its meeting tomorrow (Thursday) before cabinet makes its decision on November 22.