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Schools’ anger at bin charges

Headteacher 'amazed' that council plans to charge cash-strapped schools £13.80 per bin

28 April, 2017 — By Koos Couvée

Barrie O’Shea: ‘There was no consult­ation’

A LEADING head­teacher has slammed the Town Hall over plans to charge cash-strapped schools for waste bin collections for the first time.

Barrie O’Shea, headteacher at Dun­combe Primary School, in Upper Holloway, said he was “amazed” Islington Council was considering introducing charges which would leave schools with five-figure bills.

Mr O’Shea, who has asked the council to reconsider, said the Town Hall told the Schools Forum three weeks ago it will start charging for waste collections – not recycling – from October.

Schools will be charged £13.80 per bin. Mr O’Shea estimates this would impose an additional annual cost of £5,000 for a typical primary school and up to £15,000 for a secondary school – the equivalent of a salary of a teaching assistant work­ing four days a week.

Mr O’Shea, who chairs Islington Schools Forum, said: “We know the council is in trouble [financially] but schools are having a really hard time. There was no consultation. They just told us what they were going to do.”

The Town Hall has said no final decision has been made. It will continue discussions with the Schools Forum “to try and reach an agreed position”. Director for environment and regeneration Kevin O’Leary said: “We have to explore our options for increasing revenue from paid-for services while encouraging organ­isat­ions to cut down on commercial waste and recycle as much as possible.”

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