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Taxpayers charged £3 million to book a tip spot say Conservative Group

Updated: Oct 6, 2021

Milton Keynes Council have spent nearly £3 million operating the controversial tip-booking system since its introduction in June 2020.

It was originally adopted as a short-term solution to providing social distancing during the pandemic, but the Labour-Lib Dem Council have since made it permanent.


Now figures from a report to MK Council’s Budget and Resources Scrutiny Committee on 30 September shows the booking system is costing taxpayers £178,000 per month.


That means between June 2020 and October 2021, the council have spent £2.8 million to keep it running.


The Conservatives say the true cost of the booking system could be even higher as the Council has failed to consider the impact of an increase in kerbside waste because of less people disposing of their rubbish via the tips.


Across the country, Councils have been panning the tip book system. Neighbouring Council Central Bedfordshire axed their booking system recently while Lincoln Council binned theirs following evidence showing costly upkeep and a failure to meet the capacity of the tips.


Cllr Alex Walker, Leader of the Conservative Group, said:


“It is unacceptable that the Labour-Lib Dem Council have spent £3 million operating a tip booking system where the only results have been a record year of fly-tipping incidents.


It is time the Council opened MK’s tips up. We need to get the cost of fly tipping down and make it easier for people to drop off waste.”


A MK Council spokesperson said:


This assumption is wrong. It costs us around £2.1m to run MK's tips each year, which includes transporting and disposing of all waste and recycling tipped in over 300,000 visits from local people.

This is not the cost of introducing a booking system, which simply runs on the council's existing website.

As well as keeping citizens safe during the pandemic, using a booking system has actually reduced costs by £220,000. We know before the system was introduced, residents and businesses from outside MK were taking their rubbish to our tips. This has put a stop to that burden and led more businesses to using our commercial services.


Cllr Lauren Townsend said, “The MK Conservatives have today issued a press release claiming that the tip booking system has cost £3m. Sadly this is a complete and utter fabrication and a lie. While we are used to the local Conservatives twisting the truth, the statement today is utterly misleading. The total annual cost of operating all the tips is around £2.14m. We have saved £220,000 since the implementation of the booking system, however we are currently reviewing the booking system to ensure it’s the right thing to best on evidence. While we understand that the MK Conservatives do not agree with the tip booking system, the extent to which they are willing to lie over the issue is a sign of desperation when the facts do not suit their story.”

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