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DECISION MADE TO GO AHEAD WITH CHANGES AT HOUSEHOLD RECYCLING CENTRES
Buckinghamshire County Council’s Cabinet has today (7 January) agreed a series of changes to the county’s household recycling centre service.
The recommendations for change were prepared following a recent public consultation and a detailed analysis of how the recycling centre service currently operates, including patterns of demand at each of the sites, and survey information on how people actually use their own local site.
The changes aim to make important cost savings while at the same time ensuring that Buckinghamshire residents experience as little difference as possible in the way they use their local recycling centre. Buckinghamshire’s household recycling centre service is highly thought of by residents, and the decision to make changes at all was only taken with reluctance.
The main changes being introduced, which it is estimated will make cost savings of £1.25 million, are as follows:
1. Introduce charges at all Buckinghamshire household recycling centres for anything that is classed as non-household waste. This includes waste resulting from the construction, demolition, renovation or alteration of homes and outbuildings, and rubble, soil and treated wood resulting from garden landscaping. However, all green garden waste will continue to be accepted without charge. Charges will be phased in from 1 April 2019.
2. From 1 April 2019, reduce daily opening at the household recycling centres at Rabans Lane (Aylesbury), Chesham and Burnham from seven to five days a week by closing them on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
3. Permanently close the household recycling centre at Bledlow from 1 April 2019.
4. Close the household recycling centre at Burnham permanently from 30 September 2019, subject to a financial review of the effectiveness of the other changes, which could mean that closure is postponed.
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.
MEETING 10th October at 8pm at Radnage Village Hall
Cllr Bill Chapple, the Cabinet member for Planning & the Environment with Claire Oakins, Bucks County Council Waste Production Team Leader attended the Radnage Parish Council meeting to take questions from those members of hte public present and provide further infromation in relation to the proposed closure of the Bledlow Ridge Recycling site. PLEASE make your ideas, thoughts and suggestions known! We hope that all of your views put forward via the online consultation, or at one of the consultation meetings, will be seriously and carefully considered, so that a site that works well for local residents can remain open.
The next consultation meeting is at Princes House, Princes Risborough on October 18th at 7.30pm
The consultation runs until midnight on October 22nd and will then be put forward to the cabinet in December for a decision.
HOUSEHOLD RECYCLING – HAVE YOUR SAY!
A consultation is underway (until midnight on October 22nd) to hear your views on a series of proposed cost-saving and future growth measures to make the County’s household recycling centres (local tips) affordable for the future. The current ten centres are well used and extremely popular, however the County Council is having to reduce costs across all its services. Buckinghamshire has a much higher number of sites serving its population and, in addition, centres currently take waste like rubble, soil, plasterboard and car tyres for free where other Councils make a variety of disposal charges. There is a proposal to permanently close the Bledlow tip! Access the online survey and supporting information at www.buckscc.gov.uk/hrc-review
Regarding proposed closure of Bledlow Household Recycling Centre by Buckinghamshire County Council (BCC) …
Radnage Parish Council (RPC) has noted BCC’s proposal for possible closure of this site, ostensibly as a cost cutting measure. Whilst we understand that all councils are looking at ways of more effectively using their increasingly limited funds, without putting more pressure on tax and rate payers, RPC do not believe that the closure of the Bledow Recycling Centre would be of benefit to our own community.
We discussed this issue in our September Parish Council Meeting and note the following points:
- The site is well used by Radnage residents, being closer than the alternate High Heavens site in Booker. Using an alternative site would entail longer journeys for our residents and increased vehicular use and pollution.
- We have concerns that, although BCC believes the contrary, there will be a possible increase in fly tipping due to increased distances between remaining sites. Due to its rural and dispersed nature, Radnage would be a likely target for these activities. As we only have 4 very narrow roads for entry to, and exit from, our parish, any fly tipping incident could easily mean that these roads can be out of use until ‘clear ups’ are made by the relevant bodies. Any road closure entails considerable re-routing and inconvenience for our residents.
- We believe that other neighbouring parishes would also not be happy to lose this site. For example, Princes Risborough is considerably increasing in population, with new housing already built and being planned. The loss of valuable infrastructure at a time of increasing need for that infrastructure, and corresponding increase in waste, would be short sighted.
- The use of Buckinghamshire facilities by residents of other counties, in the case of Bledlow being used by Oxfordshire residents just over our borders, is most likely made up for by Buckinghamshire residents using Oxfordshire infrastructure. For example Oxfordshire County Council has paid for fibre infrastructure to areas in Buckinghamshire as ‘overspill’ from their recent initiatives.
Whilst we object to the full closure of the Bledlow centre, we are willing to enter into debate, on behalf of our residents, regarding any sensible proposals for cost saving measures at this site.
BUCKS COUNTY COUNCIL PRESS RELEASE Sept 24th 2018
Spend a few minutes and have your say on future of household recycling centre service says Cabinet Member
More than 3,000 people have already responded to the Council’s household recycling centre consultation, and County Council Cabinet Member for Planning and Environment Bill Chapple OBE is continuing to urge as many as possible to spend a few minutes and have their say.
The County Council has a tough budget to meet from April 2019 onwards and needs the views of as many as possible before taking decisions about the future of the service.
The eight week consultation, which is open until October 22, asks for views on a wide range of proposed options, including:
- the closure of the Bledlow site and possibly also Burnham
- selected weekday closures at Chesham, Aylesbury (Rabans Lane) and Burnham (if this site remains open)
- charging for some waste items that sites legally don’t have to take for free
- charging or limiting access to Bucks recycling centres for people living outside the county.
Bill Chapple OBE said that with the ever-reducing funding in the public sector, difficult decisions have to be made across all services.
“I’m really grateful to everyone who has taken the time to respond to our consultation already. We’ve also talked to over 350 local residents at the drop-in sessions at local libraries that we’ve organised and there are at least 5 more sessions to go. Overall, it’s been a great response.
“We have also been invited to evening meetings at parish and town councils as well as local area forums, so we have more opportunities to get the views of as many as possible.
“Although, much of the focus has been around the one or two site closure options, we also need as many views as possible about the other proposed changes that we have set out. I would really like to hear people’s views.
“The site closure proposals have prompted concerns about increasing fly tipping. I was really concerned about this too, but research and the experiences of other councils show the link simply isn’t there.”
Bill added, “In my experience, fly tippers never have any intention of taking their waste to a tip, they simply off load it wherever they can. It’s also worth saying that around half of all fly tips in Bucks are caused by people who live outside the county. Fly tipping is a criminal act and we will continue our zero-tolerance approach and bring dumpers to justice.
“Please spare a few minutes to complete the online survey – the more responses we get, the better informed we will be when we take final decisions later in the year.”
For more information and to complete the consultation, visit www.buckscc.gov.uk/hrc-review. You can still attend a drop-in session and talk through your concerns face to face. The dates and locations are:
Buckingham library – Wednesday 26 September – 10am to1pm
Burnham library – Thursday 4 October 4 – 10am to 1pm
Chesham library – Monday 8 October 8 – 2pm to 5pm
Beaconsfield library – Friday 12 October – 10am to 1pm
Drop-in sessions have already been held at the Bucks County Show, and High Wycombe, Princes Risborough and Aylesbury libraries.