Fury at skip hire scheme

Owen Baguley Skip Hire
Owen Baguley Skip Hire
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Skip hire firms fear they will be “wiped out” by a new rival council service.

Blackpool Council announced earlier this week it would launch the low-cost service, which pre-existing companies in the resort fear will undercut them and drive them out of business.

Coun Amy Cross

Coun Amy Cross

However, the authority has defended its new scheme, claiming it is in the “public interest” to offer the service to ratepayers.

Owen Baguley, from Owen Baguley Skip Hire, on Chapel Road, Marton, said: “Effectively this will wipe out all skip businesses in the area.

“It’s unfair competition and it’s all subsidised by the ratepayer.

“This is serious and they’re going to put the skip companies out of business.

“It’s going to cause a terrible situation.”

The council’s new service is offering four tonne skips from £70, six tonnes for £85 and eight tonnes for £100 with no VAT.

Mr Baguley’s views have been backed up by Abacus Skip Hire, on Clyde Street, North Shore.

A spokesman for the company, who did not want to be named, said: “The council is charging astronomical charges on the tip, and if they’re going to start undercutting skip firms 
price-wise, they’re putting people on the dole for no reason.

“It’s ridiculous really, because, at the moment, by the time you pay the insurance on your truck, tax on your truck and tax to the council you’re walking away with maybe only £20 or £30 profit per skip.”

Coun Amy Cross, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for streetscene and the environment, said: “Local authorities and Government departments often provide services which overlap with those provided by the private sector.

“That could be anything from providing dog owners with free bags to clean up after their pets to running public transport services.

“They generally do so when it is required in the public interest.

“In this case, as we said when launching the skip service, our aim is to create a cleaner Blackpool by making it as easy as possible for residents to dispose of waste, at a time when council resources are being stretched to the limit by Government cuts.”