Thursday, 7 July 2011

Statement from Lancashire County Council - Gt Harwood recycling centre to close?

LANCASHIRE County Council has announced the outcome of a review into Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC) following a decision taken earlier this year to reduce costs and reshape the service by closing four sites (see statement below).

My view is that this is more front line cuts and is another government blow to Grreat Harwood adding to the loss of regeneration funding for the Towngate and significant funding cuts to the new Health Centre.

It will result in less recycling at a time the government is trying to claim it is the greenest government ever. It will certainly mean more waste going to landfill or more car journeys to the next nearest centre at Accrington. It may well lead to more fly tipping.

David Cameron promised no frontline cuts during the leaders debates at the last general election. Lancashire Councty Council are hinding behind a review which is a euphemism for cuts.
I have tabled a Parliamentary Question to The Communities and Local Government Secreatry for answer on 11 July 2011;

Can the Secretary of State confirm (i) the numbers of recycling centres in the UK in each of the last 10 years and (ii) how many have closed from May 2010?
The review examined the existing 19 sites with a focus on continuing to provide people with the opportunity to dispose of bulky household items near their home, while reflecting changes to doorstep rubbish collections, and the need to balance a smaller budget.

The review took into consideration, amongst other issues, the amount of rubbish received at site, capacity of the site, and proximity to households.

The sites recommended for closure are:

· Garstang in Wyre borough
· Great Harwood in Hyndburn borough
· Bacup in Rossendale borough
· Colne in Pendle borough

The report also recommends giving consideration in future to providing a single larger HWRC in Lancaster borough and Ribble Valley borough to better accommodate the demands generated in these districts.

District councils, parish councils, town councils and local residents now have the opportunity to read the full report and comment on the recommendations before a decision is taken in the autumn.

County Councillor Albert Atkinson, deputy leader of Lancashire County Council, said: "Given the huge changes in the way we dispose of our waste there has long been a need to look at the value for money we get from HWRCs.

"The current network has developed over many years in an ad-hoc way with new 'tips' often being opened for convenience whenever an opportunity arose. In some places we ended up with two or three sites which, together, generated fewer customer visits than a single site in other areas. Clearly this situation could not continue.

"People can now recycle most items using the doorstep collections, with HWRCs there for the occasional times they need to dispose of bulky rubbish or items which can't be collected from the doorstep. Even following these closures, most people will still have a site within 6 miles of their home.

"We accept these closures will have an impact on the local communities they serve, but it is not cost effective to continue to provide two sites in each district where only one facility is needed for the amount of waste generated, or where there are alternatives nearby."


To read the proposals in full or to respond to the consultation by 30 September 2011, please visit www.lancashire.gov.uk/waste.