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Plan to close six Cumbrian rubbish tips looks set to shelved

Plans to close six household rubbish tips in Cumbria look certain to be shelved, the News & Star understands.

Lawrence Fisher photo
Lawrence Fisher

Cumbria County Council had suggested closing the sites at Wigton, Brampton, Kirkby Stephen, Millom, Ambleside and Grange-over-Sands to help save £2 million a year.

A consultation, which closed on Sunday, brought more than 2,000 hostile responses. The council’s cabinet meets on March 15 to make a final decision.

In the meantime, council officers have been asked to draw up plans to achieve the required savings by reducing opening hours rather than outright closures.

Lawrence Fisher, the Conservative councillor for Brampton, has been campaigning to save the site at Townfoot Industrial Estate, which opened in 2009 at a cost of £1.2m.

He said: “I would rather the sites stay open but on reduced days and a reduced number of hours.

“It would be a great pity to close what is an almost-new facility.

“People wouldn’t travel to [the nearest alternative site] Carlisle, they would put more rubbish in their bins and we don’t want that.”

The council’s official line is that no decision will be taken until the cabinet meeting.

But privately, senior councillors have been taken aback by the strength of opposition to closures.

Labour’s Tim Knowles, the cabinet member responsible for household waste recycling centres, said: “A decision will be taken at the cabinet meeting based on an analysis of the consultation responses.

“It is true to say that a significant amount of concern has been expressed about closing these facilities and we are seriously looking at the comments that have been made.

“Officers are working up a series of options for me to put a recommendation [to cabinet] forward.”

The council’s original plan would have left Cumbria with only seven household-waste sites at Carlisle, Maryport, Lillyhall, Flusco (Penrith), Kendal, Ulverston and Barrow. The new facility at Lillyhall replaces existing sites at Workington and Frizington and will still go ahead.

The consultation also proposed closing all sites on Thursdays and Fridays and reducing opening hours on other days in the quieter winter months.

There would be new charges for disposal of asbestos, gypsum, construction waste and tyres, which do not meet the legal definition of ‘household waste’.

Most of the larger sites currently open 8am-6pm daily. That at Wigton, in Syke Park Industrial Estate, opens 8am-6pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays while Brampton opens 10am-6pm daily except Tuesdays.

Have your say

Can't see what the fuss is all about to be honest. I go to the tip about three times a year, normally with a car load of old furniture and assorted rubbish. Rest of the time I recycle at the bottle bank, card bins, plastic containers etc. A tip doesn't have to be round the corner... just like an ice rink, bowling alley or any other place you visit relatively infrequently doesn't. Council should have stuck to its guns and saved a few quid. It's not like people in Brampton don't have to come into Carlisle for other stuff! You say well done councillors for lisetning, I say useless, spineless turncoats.

Posted by Paul Michael Glaser on 23 February 2012 at 15:06

Excellent news.

Posted by Dave Evans on 22 February 2012 at 08:44

View all 7 comments on this article

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