Countdown to tip decision

Mayor of Garstang, Coun Lady Dulcie Atkins with the petition to save the Household Recycling Tip at Claughton
Mayor of Garstang, Coun Lady Dulcie Atkins with the petition to save the Household Recycling Tip at Claughton

A FINAL recommendation on the future of Claughton tip is expected to be made within the next few days.

County council officials are today, Wednesday, putting the finishing touches to their report and recommendation following public consultation this autumn.

Residents of Garstang and surrounding villages have been fighting the tip closure move for the past few months.

More than 7,700 people in greater Garstang have signed petitions calling for the household waste centre to be spared the cost-cutting axe.

And they will find out very soon if the tip looks likely to be given a reprieve, or operate on a part-time basis, or be completely axed.

Camapigners say the worst case scenario for greater Garstang would be for the county council’s leadership to confirm their original intention to close the household waste centre.

Leader of the Save Tip in Garstang (STING) pressure group Bob Lobell said he hoped the recommendation would be to keep the tip.

But he added: “One has to be prepared for the worst.”

He said another possible option was postponing the decision, but he thought that was unlikely.

The Courier learned this week that senior officials hope to publish their report before the end of this week.

Janine Lund of the county’s waste management team, told ‘Save the Tip’ campaigners last week: “We are hoping to publish the cabinet report some time next week.”

The report will be available to view on the county council’s website.

There will be a ‘breathing space’ of five days before the council’s deputy leader, County Coun Albert Atkinson, has to act on it - accepting its recommendations or, less likely, overturning or rejecting them.

There has been ongoing uncertainty over the timetable of the decision procedure and likely final announcement date.

County Coun Atkinson’s decision, based on the officers’ report/recommendation, now appears likely to be made and announced either shortly before Christmas or after the New Year break.

A source close to the debate suggested the final decision would be announced early in the New Year, probably in the second week of January.

If the county goes down the closure option, County Council leader Coun Geoff Driver has offered to attend a public meeting to explain the reasons and answer questions.

To view the report and recommendation, when it is published, visit the county’s website and type “Cabinet Members and Chief Officers Decisions” into the search engine, then click on “Browse decisions from 2011.”

Shortly before The Courier went to press, Steve Scott, the county’s head of waste management, said: “We are very close to completing the report on the review of Household Waste Recycling Centres and hope to publish it in the next few days.’’

* Comment, page six.