Agenda item

PROPOSED CHANGES TO HOUSEHOLD WASTE RECYCLING CENTRE PROVISION

To consider a report from the Cabinet Member – Transport and Environment and the Corporate Director – Resources (copy enclosed)

 

The County Council began a comprehensive review of the HWRC service in October 2011 aimed at identifying options to deliver these agreed savings. The review identified a range of options including reduced hours, reduced opening days, site closures and charging for non-household waste.  This report sets out two options that are available to Members.  The options are based upon the analysis of the HWRC review, achieving the challenging savings targets and listening to the feedback from the consultation exercise.  This report seeks agreement from Cabinet Members on their preferred option for HWRC re-provision across Cumbria

 

 

 

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment presented a report on the Proposed Changes to Household Waste Recycling Centre Provision.  He confirmed that option 1 as set out in the report was as consulted on and would deliver the agreed budget savings.  Option 2 was a reasonable compromise given the responses received but would not deliver the required levels of savings.

 

As part of its response to the significant financial challenges set by the Government in autumn 2010, Members agreed in February 2011 a savings requirement of some £2 million per annum through the re-provision of the Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) Service.  This proposal was fully consulted on as part of the Strategic Planning process.

 

The County Council began a comprehensive review of the HWRC service in October 2011 aimed at identifying options to deliver these agreed savings. The review identified a range of options including reduced hours, reduced opening days, site closures and charging for non-household waste.

 

A proposal for consultation was subsequently produced that was designed to best address the key issue of achieving the savings whilst also minimising the impact on the majority of Cumbria’s service users.

 

In January 2012, a public consultation exercise began that sought Cumbria’s views on the proposals. Over 2,600 comments were received in verbal, written and electronic formats. The comments were wide ranging in their response to the proposals, but the general feedback was one of opposition to closures with concerns about the impacts these would have on the communities and environment in which they are situated.

 

The report set out two options available to Members.  The options were based upon the analysis of the HWRC review, achieving the challenging savings targets and listening to the feedback from the consultation exercise. The first option would realise the greatest savings against the budget targets. The second option would be more limited in achieving savings but addressed many of the consultation response concerns.

 

The report sought agreement from Cabinet Members on their preferred option for HWRC re-provision across Cumbria.

 

The options under consideration were as detailed below:

 

Option 1:   To agree to implement proposals as detailed in the public consultation, as follows:

 

                -     Close six of the County’s least used household waste recycling centres (HWRCs) at Grange, Millom, Kirkby Stephen, Ambleside, Wigton and Brampton.

 

                -     Move to seasonal opening hours on the remaining sites (as detailed in Appendix 2).

 

                -     Close the remaining sites on 2 days each week (as detailed in Appendix 2), so that all sites will be open just 5 days per week.

 

                -     Introduce a mobile household waste recycling service in areas suffering site closure, to mitigate the impact of the closures.

 

                -     Introduce charges for disposal of non-household waste, namely soil, rubble, asbestos, plasterboard and car tyres.

 

Option 2:   To agree not to close any of the County’s HWRCs, but to reduce opening hours and days across the whole HWRC network, as follows:

 

                -     All Cumbria’s HWRCs move to seasonal opening hours (as detailed in Appendix 3)

 

                -     Carlisle, Barrow, Kendal and Flusco reduce to opening 5 days per week (including weekends)

 

                -     Frizington and Workington reduce to opening 5 days per week (including weekends), until their closure (as previously agreed by Cabinet on 28th April 2011)

 

                -     Maryport and Ulverston reduce to opening 4 days per week (including weekends)

 

                -     Millom, Ambleside, Wigton, Brampton, Grange and Kirkby Stephen reduce to opening 2 days per week (one day during the week and one day at weekends)

 

The Deputy Leader advised there had been a comprehensive consultation exercise taken on these budget proposals as far back as autumn 2010 and at that stage there had been a very limited response.  47% of respondees had favoured the rationalisation of sites at that point.  He thanked officers for their efforts in devising alternative proposals and was hopeful that the public would accept that the County Council had listened to their concerns.

 

The Corporate Director – Resources confirmed that Option 1 delivered the required level of savings and was recommended from her professional perspective.  Ultimately the decision was for members to make and the compromise option 2 would deliver significant savings but leave a shortfall of £500,000 which would have to be found from other areas of council activity.  In response to a question the Corporate Director confirmed that the Audit Commission assessed the current service as high cost in comparison to other rural authorities.

 

RESOLVED,that Cabinet agree option 2 as set out in the report resulting in no closure of any of the County’s HWRCs, but a reduction in opening hours and days across the whole HWRC network, as follows:

 

                  -       All Cumbria’s HWRCs move to seasonal opening hours (as detailed in Appendix 3)

 

                  -       Carlisle, Barrow, Kendal and Flusco reduce to opening 5 days per week (including weekends)

 

                  -       Frizington and Workington reduce to opening 5 days per week (including weekends), until their closure (as previously agreed by Cabinet on 28th April 2011)

 

                  -       Maryport and Ulverston reduce to opening 4 days per week (including weekends)

 

                  -       Millom, Ambleside, Wigton, Brampton, Grange and Kirkby Stephen reduce to opening 2 days per week (one day during the week and one day at weekends).

 

Supporting documents: