Opening days cut plan for five centres

Brought to you by the Morpeth Herald.
Brought to you by the Morpeth Herald.

The opening days of five household waste-recovery centres in Northumberland, including one near Ponteland, could be reduced under cost-cutting measures.

As part of the county council’s medium-term financial plan, a reduction of £132,000 from the waste management budget for 2016/17 was approved following a vote at a meeting in February.

The authority has said it needs to make savings across a range of areas because of central Government cuts.

It has put forward proposals to change the opening days for the five household-waste recovery centres that deal with the lowest quantity of waste from seven days a week to four days a week – Friday to Monday inclusive.

As well as Kirkley West Thorn, the facilities in Allendale, Haltwhistle, North Sunderland and Wooler would be affected. The opening times for both summer and winter would remain unchanged.

A report into the proposals was discussed by the council’s communities and local services overview and scrutiny committee last week and the views of town and parish councils, along with area committees, will be sought before a final decision is taken later this summer.

The matter was raised at a Ponteland Town Council meeting and Coun Alan Varley said he has individually emailed his concerns to the waste services department that large queues at Kirkley West Thorn at weekends could lead to fly-tipping.

Coun Ian Swithenbank, cabinet member for local services at the county council, said: “We believe the new opening arrangements will provide the majority of residents with ample opportunity to deliver waste to their local centre.”