Recyling Sites to Close

Recycling sites to close retrograde step A packed hall in Navenby heard senior Council officials explaining their plan to close several recycling sites in Lincolnshire. Cllr Shore of North Hykeham plans to close the busy local facilities at both Leadenham and Whisby on March 31st. Councillor Marianne Overton organised the public meeting last Thursday in the Venue at Navenby so that those making the decisions could hear residents' opinions. “This is a seriously retrograde step,” said Councillor Overton. “The recycling sites are busy. This decision forces more people to drive further with their rubbish, struggling into the traffic and adding to pollution and creating more congestion on Lincoln's already overloaded roads and at the sites in Lincoln and Sleaford. This is a false economy, buck-passing costs to residents and to the environment.” “It is true that, despite national work behind the scenes in to ensure fairer slice of the national cake for rural counties, George Osbourne has underfunded us again in comparison with more urban councils. Councils are being forced to accept around 6.7% reduction in spending power over the next four years. Savings do need to be made, but Leadenham in particular, is currently a cost-effective local service, proportionate to our needs. Centralising services into towns and cities is not sustainable and treats us like dormitories.” “The site owners, FCC, do need to spend some money on the site, but nothing like the astronomical sums suggested for the gold-plated facilities on the Council’s own sites in the towns. If FCC were given any certainty, even a five-year contract, they could concrete under the seven skips at Leadenham and collect the water to match the requirements of the Environment Agency.” Residents are concerned about and the mess and increased cost falling on them and on the District Council from the consequent increase in fly-tipping on public and private land. There could also be a lot heavier demand on the District Council collection service and on the town centre sites. Although residents already pay the same taxes as people in towns, there was support for a simple charging system to keep services local. A number of parishes were represented at the meeting from as far afield as Eagle, Long Bennington, Branston and Hough and a consortium was suggested. An interim arrangement would be needed as the precepts have to be decided by February 2nd. Currently haulage for the County is commissioned centrally, but the Council plans to offload that onto those who run the sites. That is likely to reduce the number of people bidding for the contracts, which is likely to keep the price up and help the bigger multi-nationals. The Council also plans to own all the sites, even if it means building new ones at our expense. Cllr Overton thought that “Sacrificing good local services for a political goal is risky, and once lost, recovering them will be very hard indeed. This is bad for the rural areas, and bad for the urban dwellers on the receiving end of yet more traffic and added pressure at the sites, beyond what is reasonable. This is a consultation and Cllr Shore needs to be prepared to consider alternatives.” Any support with the campaign and developing the service in a better more viable way would be gratefully received. Please send us your comments or ring 07920 235 364. To help the campaign, please send comments to Cllrr.shore@lincolnshire.gov.uk and copy us in. Kind Regards, Marianne Councillor Marianne Overton MBE Lincolnshire Independent Councillor for Branston and Navenby on Lincolnshire County Council and for the Cliff Villages on North Kesteven District Council www.independentvoice.org.uk