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Council to consult on tip closure plan – at last

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MEMBERS of the public are to get a chance to give their views on the controversial plan to close the Sandy Lane Recycling Centre at Stockton Heath.
Warrington Borough Council’s executive board has agreed to a four week consultation after having the issue referred back to them by the council’s scrutiny committee.
Cllr Peter Walker, who originally “called in” the proposal, gave the move a cautious welcome.
He said: “It’s a step in the right direction. But I have my reservations. Four weeks is not long for a consultation as wide-ranging as this – particularly if it is in August when councils are in recess and many people are away on holiday.
“I shall be asking the council to extend the consultation beyond four weeks if it includes August.”
A storm broke when it emerged that council proposals to negotiate a new recycling contract involved closing the Sandy Lane Recycling Centre and reducing the opening hours at Warrington’s other two recycling centres at Woolston and Gatewarth.
Cllr Walker – also a member of Stockton Heath Parish Council – said there had been no consultation with local councillors, parish councils or the public and that the closure would leave people in south Warrington having to make lengthy, cross-borough journeys to get to either of the remaining centres.
He “called in” the decision for examination by the scrutiny committee – which in turn referred the matter back to the executive board.
After the executive agreed to carry out a consultation on a recycling strategy for Warrington as a whole – including the Sandy Lane issue – Cllr Walker said: “I am pleased they have agreed to this, but I have my reservations.
“It will take some time to set up the consultation and that will take us into the August holiday period when it will not be possible to have a meaningful consultation.
“The executive want to consider it again at their meeting in mid-September so there is not much time.
“I would like to see the consultation period extended.”
Pictured: Sandy Lane Recycling Centre …and Cllr Walker

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Experienced journalist for more than 35 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with six in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

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