Tip protest goes to the top

Mayor of Garstang, Coun Lady Atkins, with the petition to save Claughton Recycling Centre.
Mayor of Garstang, Coun Lady Atkins, with the petition to save Claughton Recycling Centre.

CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save Claughton recycling centre have handed in a 6,000-plus signature petition against the closure.

Mayor of Garstang, Coun Lady Dulcie Atkins spoke out as the consultation exercise into the closure of Claughton Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC), ended last week.

Coun Atkins delivered the petition - with 6,398 signatures to Lancashire County Council bosses at County Hall.

The petition calls for the tip to be saved.

It is one of four sites across the county which faces closure.

Coun Atkins said: “I just hope the county council will take notice of what is happening here and the strength of feeling in the area.

“I have never known such a strong response to a single issue. People are extremely angry at these plans.”

She added: “As for as i am concerned they are a retrograde step which will lead local people to stop recycling. “If this site closes the nearest one will be 11 miles away in Preston, giving people a 22 mile round trip journey. It just won’thappen.”

There are 19 HWRCs in Lancashire and the Claughton site is one of four recommended for closure as part of areview.

Wyre Council voted unanimously in favour of supporting campaigners in the fight against the plans.

Other critics include Coun Atkin’s husband, Sir Robert Atkins MEP, who called the move a “folly” and claimed it could lead to flytipping in the area.

In addition to a written petition, more than 1,300 campaigners have also signed an online e-petition against the closure.

County Council waste chiefs say they have to streamline the service to save cash and get better value for money.

The four sites earmarked for closure were chosen to ensure most people would still have a site within six miles of their home, council bosses have said.

Phil Barrett, director of environment and public protection at LCC, said: “Once the consultation finishes we will analyse all the responses received and write a report for the cabinet member to consider and come to adecision.”

* See also this week’s Thomas Weind column