LIBERAL Democrat councillors in the south of Warrington have expressed concern over proposals to close the Sandy Lane Recycling Centre in Stockton Heath and reduce the opening hours of the other two centres in the borough.
They claim the decision was “hidden” on the agenda of the borough council’s executive board on June 10 – and have asked that it be “called in” for further consideration by the council’s scrutiny committee.
Cllr Peter Walker, of Appleton (pictured), said: “Our request for the ‘call-in’ lists six reasons why we are unhappy.
“This decision must have been made before February but it has been kept secret until now. There has been no consultation with residents, parish councils, local groups or councillors in South Warrington or, as far as I know, elsewhere in the town.
“The additional proposal to ‘compensate’ South Warrington by installing unsupervised ‘Bring Banks’ is also very worrying and needs proper discussion.”
A proposal to close the Sandy Lane centre in 2010 was rejected by the then Lib Dem led administration after open and thorough consultation.
Cllr Walker says he hopes the Labour administration will also listen before making far reaching decisions on the future of waste handling in Warrington.
“The potential for a reduction in recycling, longer car journeys, litter and fly tipping must be considered,” he said.
Cllr Walker said he believed the decision was not taken in accordance with the principles of decision making as laid down in the council’s constitution.
It was disproportionate to the desired outcome because of the effect it would have on the south of the borough compared to the north.
There had also been a lack of consultation and incomplete information on the reasons for the decision and “secrecy” since at least February.
When the tendering process commenced there was presumably a presumption that no centres would close – yet the outcome resulted in a closure.
No account had been taken of the cost of the promised additional ‘bring bank’ facility as compensation for the Stockton Heath closure nor of the financial or environmental impact of extra traffic and fly tipping.
Cllr Walker said only one tenderer remained at the end and he wondered if such a sensitive issues should have gone out to re-tender.
Pictured above: The Sandy Lane tip at Stockton Heath.