Calls to abort consultation on closing rubbish tips for two days a week rejected
Calls to abort or extend a consultation on closing the majority of rubbish tips in West Sussex for two days a week was rejected by the county council.
Household Waste Recycling Sites (HWRS) in Bognor Regis, Littlehampton, Shoreham, Worthing, Horsham, East Grinstead, and Billingshurst are all currently open seven days a week, but West Sussex County Council is asking for the public to comment on proposals to reduce their days of operation and opening hours.
Rubbish tips in Westhampnett, Burgess Hill and Crawley would remain open all week, while Midhurst, which is open six days a week, would be closed for two days a week along with the other sites.
As part of the package of measures that could save the county council £2m a year, the authority is also looking at closing down mobile HWRSs, which are all located in the Chichester district.
At last Friday’s WSCC full council meeting James Walsh (LDem, Littlehampton East), leader of the county council’s Lib Dem group, called for the consultation to be aborted, while Francis Oppler (LDem, Bognor Regis East) asked if it could be extended instead.
Both requests were rejected by David Barling (Con, Bramber Castle), WSCC’s cabinet member for residents’ services.
Mr Oppler asked for an extra month so members of the public could ‘fully engage’ in the consultation, especially as the services was ‘one of the most vital’ that the council provided.
Lionel Parsons (UKIP, Sompting and North Lancing) agreed with Mr Oppler, and added: “This is a real frontline service that the community expects from their taxes.”
Ian Buckland (LDem, Littlehampton Town) questioned whether they wanted people from Littlehampton having to drive to Chichester on the days their tip was closed, while Dr Walsh said the changes would lead to an increase in fly tipping, and asked for the proposals to be aborted to ‘keep the amenity tips open for the benefit of all residents in West Sussex’.
But Mr Barling replied: “The fact of the matter is we have a consultation period running and it would be grossly wrong to abort that now.”
He said they could not run away from the fact that savings had to be made and there was no tap that could produce more money, while he made it clear they were not closing any permanent tips, with the new days of operation ‘interfaced’ with the nearest available HWRS.
Mr Barling thought they had put out the ‘least worst’ option out for consultation,
Robin Rogers (LDem, Northbrook) added: “Whoever thought this harebrained scheme was a good idea?”
The consultation closes on Sunday June 12.
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