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BCC vote through waste site closures & hours cuts

Bucks County Council

Published by Dan Gooding at 12:51pm 7th January 2019. (Updated at 3:40pm 7th January 2019)

Plans to cut hours at two waste sites and close two in Buckinghamshire have been approved.

After a long debate this lunchtime, the County Council's cabinet have signed off all the proposals, which include:

  • Closing Rabans Lane and Chesham on Wednesdays and Thursdays, reducing the opening days from 7 to 5 days a week
  • Closing Bledlow for good
  • Closing Burnham's site, but this will be finally decided on in September
  • Flytipping will be monitored to see if increases occur
  • Charges will be brought in for some non-residential waste

BCC say they need to save £1.25 million next year.

The issue has been heavily debated and many councillors today expressed worries, but said they had to either back the plans based on budget constraints or abstain from voting.

The Bledlow site is going to be looked at in terms of what could be done in the future and ideas to relocate both tips at Rabans Lane in Aylesbury and Buckingham were discussed, as they cannot meet future demand.

Speaking after today's meeting, Bill Chapple OBE, Cabinet Member for Planning & Environment, said:

"The changes we are making to the household recycling centre service have been very carefully considered so that they make as little disruption as possible to residents across the county as a whole. However, I do accept that some of the changes, especially permanent closure of a site, will have an impact on residents living in that locality."

He added:

"Although I would much rather inconvenience no-one, these closures are unfortunately necessary if we are to realise the level of cost savings the Council's budget requires."

The Cabinet meeting recognised the widely-held concern that, despite considerable evidence to the contrary, changes to the household recycling centre service would lead to an increase in fly tipping.

To cover such an eventuality, authority was given for the county's waste enforcement service to work with the Cabinet Member to bring in additional preventative measures if any increase is identified.

Bill Chapple continued:

"I'm aware that there is widespread concern that the changes agreed today will cause more fly tipping. But evidence from around the country says otherwise - ordinary householders don't suddenly become criminals because changes are made at their local tip.

"However, we have zero tolerance of fly tipping, any will take immediate action if there's any sign of an increase due to these changes."

The Council will be carrying out extensive communications to ensure that residents are aware of the changes that will be taking place both to the household recycling centre service as a whole, and especially in respect of their own local site.

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