Axed town tip to re-open

Coun Sandra Perkins has lobbied to re-open the centre.
Coun Sandra Perkins has lobbied to re-open the centre.
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A recycling centre which was axed two years ago as part of County Hall cost-cutting is to re-open.

The ‘tip’ at Claughton, near Garstang, closed down despite a tide of public objection, including a petition signed by hundreds of residents.

Today’s unexpected decision has been revealed by Garstang County Councillor Sandra Perkins, a leading campaigner for the restoration of household waste recycling centre.

Under plans kept under wraps until this week, the Labour-led county council is preparing to reinstate the tip, overturning the closure decision of previous Conservative administration.

Coun Perkins said: “I am absolutely delighted, over the moon. In the nine months I have been a county councillor I have made the views of the people of Garstang and district about the tip very obvious.

“People are continually stopping me in the street and asking me what is happening. From this week things are a lot clearer. I have always been optimistic that we could restore the tip - this is great news for Garstang and district.”

More details of how the re-opened Claughton depot will operate are expected to be released over the next few months.

The new regime is likely to see the tip open up to three days a week instead of the previous seven.

Charges may be introduced for dumping certain kinds of rubbish such as rubble and concrete.

Outlining the ‘reverse gear’ decision at County Hall, Coun Perkins said after the change of political control last summer her lobbying helped prompt the formation of a task group re-examining the future of Lancashire’s HWRCs, including the Claughton site.

She has had seat on the all-party group and pressed Garstang’s case.

The task group’s findings led to a confidential report on the future of HWRCs. It is believed to have been discussed in meetings at County Hall last week, including Friday’s meeting of the ruling cabinet which agreed the re-opening, which is likely to be before April 2015, operating on a two or three days a week basis.

Four years ago the proposed closure of Claughton tip led to protests in a large swathe of the rural area stretching from Galgate to Barton as well as Over Wyre.

Campaigners said the closure had environmental implications, with worries about an increase in fly-tipping and householders being forced to travel to HWRCs at Ingol, Lancaster or Fleetwood to dump their rubbish.

Independent Coun Mrs Perkins has been given the all clear by council bosses to make the latest cabinet decision public.

A statement sent to Coun Perkins by Coun Janice Hanson, LCC cabinet member for waste policy, said they hope to reopen the tip before April 2015.

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