AN 'UNFAIR' charge on waste collection for Barrow residents is due to continue.

People who live in the former Barrow borough are still being charged for garden waste collection even though residents in other areas of the new Westmorland and Furness Council area are not.

The council has now announced that the charge is due to continue while work its works to harmonise services, something it has described as a 'huge undertaking'.

Barrow MP Simon Fell has called on the council to rethink the decision.

He has written to Councillor Dylan Jones, the cabinet member for customer and waste services, saying several constituents have told him they want the charge removed.

Mr Fell criticised the council for giving the update amid a forthcoming rise in council tax and allowances for council cabinet members.

Mr Fell said: “I am deeply disappointed to learn of the decision made by Westmorland and Furness council to not remove the unfair garden waste tax on Barrow residents.

“Whilst I appreciate that time needs to be taken to harmonise services, we are nearly a year on from the new unitary authority being formed and they are yet to make changes to prevent Barrow residents paying for a service that other Westmorland and Furness residents receive for free.

“This update coming in the same week that Labour and Liberal Democrat Councillors voted to increase council tax by a whopping 4.99% and voted to raise their own allowances at the same time, is a further blow to Barrow residents.”

Explaining why green waste will continue in 2024-25, Cllr Jones: "We recognise that some people have raised concerns that this does not appear fair or balanced.

"We have been asked several times why the service is different in different areas when we are now one council.

"Unfortunately there isn’t a ‘quick fix’ to this situation, and even after nearly a year of the new council we have plenty of work still to do to ensure we are getting our plans right, to consult with our residents and to consider the many and complex logistical and financial implications, before we roll-out any changes to such an important service, relied on by so many people, across such a large area.