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People in York Asked for Views on Waste Collections and Tips

towthorpe tip presser 140213

6:02am 15th February 2013

People in York are being asked for their views on waste collections and the future of the Towthorpe Tip.

The city council is hoping to save £125,000 over two years with it's proposals for changes to garden waste collections and changing the opening hours at the Towthorpe Tip.

Opposition councillors have vowed to fight any changes to opening hours at Towthorpe Tip.

Conservative councillors Paul Doughty and Sian Wiseman (pictured) supported by party colleagues Tony Richardson and Joe Watt have launched a petition against any changes.

Paul Doughty said, "I spoke at Cabinet to say that neither we or residents we represent are prepared to accept any erosion to the service offered and are extremely concerned that this may lead to closure in the future. We do not have any confidence in consultations taken by this administration, you only have to consider the now closed down Beckfield Lane site and Union Terrace shenanigans to know they don't listen and we will find it difficult to trust their 'representative' list of 500 consultees they say they intend to survey. We will be campaigning strongly against this which could have a really detrimental effect on the local environment and the City meeting landfill financial penalties which could well outstrip any savings."

Sian Wiseman said, "This facility is an essential service for the sizeable population in the north and east of the City and we want to send a clear message to Labour that despite them refusing the government grant to freeze Council tax, they cannot expect our residents to accept yet another Council tax increase but also cut the services offered to us! Residents can register on the ‘Protect Towthorpe Depot' e-petition on the Council website or can physically sign our additional paper petition over the coming weeks."

Liberal Democrats on the city council says they are also concerned and fearful it could be the start of the closure of the tip. The party says the council will have to pay £3.3 million in landfill tax this year, which it attributes to the previous closure of Beckfield Lane tip.

Keith Orrell from the party commented:

“These proposed changes are deeply concerning. Plans to reduce the opening hours will have a major impact on local residents. If Labour close the tip at say 4pm instead of the current 7pm, it will mean many local people who work or have commitments during the day will be unable to use the site. Closing Towthorpe completely over the winter would be even worse.

“Labour have already closed Beckfield Lane and since then recycling and landfill tax targets have been missed. These proposal will only make things worse and are typical of the short-sighted nature of the Labour Cabinet. They focus on the immediate saving of cutting the service, but do not focus on the long-term impact of falling recycling rates, the increase in rubbish being sent to landfill, and the subsequent rise in landfill tax.

“We are also concerned that plans to reduce opening hours are the first-step towards closing the site completely. At a time when Labour should be encouraging residents to recycle, they are closing sites, planning to reduce opening hours and cutting litter bins. Whilst we welcome Labour’s commitment to consult on any changes, their track-record on listening to residents is poor. Any consultation must involve extensive surveys of users of Towthorpe at all times when the site is open, and Labour must actually act on what people say.”

Labour cabinet member David Levene says:

“We are committed to providing the best possible service to residents and businesses, and recognise that to achieve this we need to listen closely to their views as part of this consultation before any decisions on garden waste or Towthorpe opening hours are made. However, we need to be honest with the public and given the challenging financial situation facing the council a review of all services is essential.”

The city council is holding it's own consultation; including telephone interviews of 500 York residents, a targeted online survey and face-to-face consultation will also be carried out at the Towthorpe Tip with users.

The council's survey can be filled in online by visiting  www.york.gov.uk/consultation/

Residents can also request a postal copy of the survey by calling 01904 551551 or by emailing ycc@york.gov.uk .

The results from this comprehensive consultation exercise will be reported back to Cabinet in spring 2013 with recommendations for members to consider.   

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