The cost of a garden waste permit in East Renfrewshire could now be set at £50 after concerns were raised over plans to introduce a £60 fee.

Residents who want their garden waste collected have paid £40 per year for the service but an above inflation increase of £20 was agreed by the council’s cabinet earlier this year.

However, Conservative councillors called that decision in, claiming the proposed rise would put an “unfair burden” on residents.

The audit committee recommended lifting the charge to £45.

Now the cabinet has agreed a £50 annual fee, which council leader Owen O’Donnell described as a “fair compromise.”

That proposal will go before councillors on Wednesday. If approved, it will be included in plans to plug a budget shortfall of around £18million.

At a cabinet meeting on Friday, audit committee chairman Councillor Andrew Morrison said the £60 fee – an increase of 50% – could have “unintended negative consequences.”

Concerns included a “lower uptake than expected, reductions to recycling rates which are high for East Renfrewshire Council and potential scope for fly-tipping.”

At an audit committee meeting on February 8, Councillor Tony Buchanan had proposed a motion, seconded by Provost Mary Montague, to accept the £60 plan but this was rejected by four votes to three.

Councillor Paul Edlin then moved a recommendation to increase the permit cost to £45, which was passed.

Councillor O’Donnell told the cabinet it was “clear that opinion was divided” among audit committee members.

He said: “We have discussed this report as cabinet and we accept that perhaps the rise to £60 was too much in one year.

“But the audit committee’s recommended rise to £45 would result in an increased financial burden on the council’s finances when the total inflationary cost for all the service is around 20 per cent.

“That is why we recommended that the brown bin charges are increased to £50 per year for a 50-week service, which happens to be the same as Glasgow’s newly-introduced charge of £50 per year for a fortnight service.”

He added: “A charge of £50 will mean the net cost of this service is no greater a financial burden to the council in 2023 to 2024 than it is in the current year.

"We think that is a fair compromise that I hope all council members can support.”

Brown bins are used for garden and food waste but the council only charges for the collection of garden waste.

It runs a 50-week collection service, with residents able to choose whether to buy the garden waste permit.