New hopes that tip may re-open

BEN WALLACE MP: "What I want to see is the tip re-opened asap''
BEN WALLACE MP: "What I want to see is the tip re-opened asap''

HOPES that an independently run waste recycling centre could be set up at the closed Claughton “tip” looked more optimistic this week.

Last week the leader of the STING (Save Tip in Garstang) pressure group, Bob Lobell, claimed that county council leader County Coun Geoff Driver was stalling over considering the idea – a point strongly denied by County Coun Driver.

But this week, following lobbying by Garstang MP Ben Wallace, there has been a positive response from County Hall.

The idea mooted by Mr Lobell is for the Claughton site to be re-designated as a Community Recycling Centre, run independently and along similar lines to CRCs in Somerset and waste centres in Leicestershire.

Mr Lobell has also revealed the name of the company which has expressed a serious interest in taking on the tip. It is Environmental Waste Controls of Prescot, Merseyside.

And Mr Lobell also says that Wyre Council is backing the idea, though not financially.

To get the “new” tip off the ground the county council would need to make the now closed site available to Wyre and ensure the site licence is transferred to the new operator.

Mr Lobell said: “That EWC could run the Garstang HWRC is not in any doubt – they currently run all the HWRCs for Leicestershire County Council, among other contracts.”

He said that if things did not move swiftly any potential re-opening could be set back by months.

In an email to Mr Lobell, County Coun Driver said this week that the idea was being given “serious consideration.”

County Coun Driver told The Courier: “I have said all along that I am prepared to look at any proposal to keep Claughton HWRC open, provided it is at no cost to the county council.”

Mr Wallace, MP for Wyre and North Preston said: “What I want to see is the tip re-opened ASAP, whether by LCC or by anyone else.”

“I have sought assurances from the county, and received them, that it is looking in full at proposals put to them.”

A spokesman for Wyre Council said: “We support the operation of a community recycling centre in Garstang, as demonstrated by our involvement in discussions to take this proposal forward.

“We are acting to bring together Lancashire County Council, the landowner and operator, and potential private sector partners.

“Wyre Council does not support a scheme that results in a cost to our organisation and, consequently, to Wyre council tax payers.

“We are continuing to talk to all parties involved in the hope of reaching a successful outcome.”