THE roll-out of garden waste charges in East Renfrewshire has been pushed back until July.

Council chiefs were set to be asked to agree a start date of June 7 for the new charges, which will see all households taking part having to pay a £40 annual fee.

But environment director Andy Cahill requested the date was changed to July 5 to allow “a few glitches” in the online payment process to be fixed.

The charge, set to raise £800,000 for the council, was included in this year’s budget, which was approved by elected members in March.

Mr Cahill said: “One of the elements of the scheme is to have online payment processing available.

“Many residents and customers expect that level of service to be provided now. They want to pay online, they don’t want to get involved with sending in cheques.

“However, just recently, we’ve been having a few glitches in relation to the online payment system. I just want to be sure that it will definitely be able to operate effectively and efficiently.”

Cabinet members approved starting the scheme in July.

The £40 charge for 2021/22 will be payable in advance.

Participating households will get a bin sticker to show they are part of the scheme and permits will be sent out before the start date.

All brown bins without a permit will be checked and won’t be emptied if garden waste is found.

Anyone without a permit can ask the council to collect their garden waste at a cost of £35.

Councillor Paul O’Kane said introducing the charge was a “difficult decision” but it means the number of staff can be increased.

He added: “I think it’s important to put on the record that the alternative to charging would have been reduction in service.

“That could have been reductions in the collection of bins, looking at the cycles of when bins are lifted. It could have been an adverse impact on winter gritting routes or the repairs budget for roads. It’s a difficult choice but I think it’s the right one.”