Council confirms tip closure decision

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LANCASHIRE County Council has confirmed that Garstang Household Waste Recycling Centre will shut next year to help meet tough savings targets.

The decision to close the sites at Calughton - along with three others at Great Harwood, Bacup and Colne - follows a review of the service after the council agreed to save £520,000 as part of a £179m programme of savings in its February budget.

The council say the review took into consideration a number of issues, including the amount of rubbish received at each site, their capacity and sustainability, and access to alternative facilities if people’s nearest site was closed.

The proposal to close the Garstang tip resulted in a massive local campaign and a petition collected more than 7,500 signatures opposing the move.

County Councillor Albert Atkinson, deputy leader of Lancashire County Council, said: “Given the huge changes in the way we dispose of our waste there has long been a need to look at the value for money we get from HWRCs.

“People can now recycle most everyday items using their kerbside collections, with HWRCs there for the occasional times they need to dispose of bulky rubbish or items which can’t be collected from the kerbside.

“The county council faces unprecedented financial challenges with no choice but to save £179m over the next three years if we are to protect our highest priority services to vulnerable people and we can no longer sustain so many HWRCs so close to each other.”

County Councillor Atkinson added: “The current network has developed over many years in an ad-hoc way with new ‘tips’ often being opened for convenience whenever an opportunity arose. In some places we ended up with two or three sites which, together, generated fewer customer visits than a single site in other areas. Clearly this situation could not continue.

“We accept these closures will have an impact on the local communities they serve, but it is not cost effective to continue to provide two sites where only one facility is needed for the amount of waste generated, or where there are alternatives nearby.”

The four sites will close from March 19 2012 with staff remaining on site until the end of April 1 2012.

* Full story and reaction in the Garstang Courier, out on December 21