A STORM of protest is set to erupt following Warrington Borough Council’s decision to close the Sandy Lane recycling centre at Stockton Heath, with effect from August 1 – to save an estimated £450,000.
Members of the Warrington Borough Council’s Executive Board made the decision earlier this week – to the dismay of councillors in the South of the borough.
Lib Dem leader Ian Marks (pictured) said: “Yet again we see the Labour controlled authority making cut backs in the South of the borough!
“This is something we looked at doing when we ran the council and following public consultation we decided it was not the right thing to do.
“At the time I can remember a number of Labour councillors expressing near outrage at any suggestion to close down this recycling centre – now they appear to have made a complete u-turn.
“We are not happy with this decision and there was absolutely no consultation.
“We are now contemplating what action to take. One option is to have the decision called in for scrutiny.”
Appleton Councillor Judith Wheeler said: “We are going to face increased car and van journeys across town to recycle causing increased congestion and pollution.
“There will be an impact on Gatewarth and Woolston in terms of traffic and capacity. Sandy Lane is one recycling centre that people can walk to!
“What can they do with the site? It is contaminated land so it will restricted for a few years. We do not want a derelict site!
A report to the Executive board said a total of 22 companies had expressed an interest in running the site, but in the end it had come down to one.
Cllr Marks added: “Perhaps it would have been a good idea to go out to tender again before reaching a decision.”
Cllr David Keane, executive board member for environment and public protection, said: “This has been a tough decision but due to Government cuts in funding, in order to deliver savings and due to the various site and operational restrictions it has been agreed to close this site.
“We have also taken into account that there has been a 50% drop in use of the community recycling centres thanks to residents increasing recycling at home by using the black, blue and green collections which is great and keeps our recycling rates on the rise.
“However, in order to compensate for closing the site, we will be looking to expand other recycling facilities in the area including new bring bank sites and promotion of other existing services such as the bulky waste collection service and of course our kerbside recycling collection services.”
Pictures show the Sandy Lane tip which looks set to close on August 1.