PLANS to axe York’s winter green bin collections and introduce garden waste charges for thousands of residents are set to be approved tonight after challenges failed.

City of York Council hopes to save £360,000 over two years through waste service changes which also includes closing Towthorpe tip on Wednesdays.

Initial plans for wider green bin fees were scaled back. The council's cabinet will be asked to rubberstamp the proposals tonight after motions opposing them, tabled by the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats at last week’s full council meeting, were voted down by Labour.

Strensall Conservative councillor Paul Doughty presented a petition signed by more than 1,700 people saying changes at Towthorpe could lead to its “gradual erosion”.

He claimes consultation on opening times did not allow for the status quo and said: “We do not accept any diminishment in service, whether through reduced operating hours, days of operation or seasonal closure.”

The Conservative motion included a Lib Dem amendment warning the Towthorpe changes may increase traffic problems.

Huntington and New Earswick councillor Keith Orrell said Wednesday closures could increase usage on other days and said a review of traffic arrangements was essential.

Lib Dem Ann Reid’s call to abandon garden waste charges, under which about 3,500 residents with more than one green bin would pay £35 a year, was also blocked. At tonight’s meeting, her party will present a petition signed by more than 1,800 people.

Coun David Levene, cabinet member for environmental services, said the changes would affect a small number of residents, most of whom would home-compost, use recycling centres and dispose of green waste during summer.

He said closing Towthorpe on Wednesdays was backed “two-to-one” in a public consultation and the changes would help to achieve savings made necessary by Government cuts. Coun Levene also accused opposition parties of "scaremongering" and said Labour had consulted the public before making decisions.