October 23 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, March 20, 2014
Plans to charge north Norfolk householders £2 when they visit a recycling tip have been branded unfair and condemned by councillors.
Members of North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) and town councillors also fear the decision will lead to increased fly-tipping across the district.
Norfolk county councillors agreed on the charges for nine recycling centres, including Worstead, as part of a package to save £189m over the next three years. Despite the Sheringham and Mayton Wood – at Little Hautbois – recycling sites remaining free, district councillors have blasted the decision to charge for some and not others as illogical.
The proposal, due to be introduced from April 1 2016, has been heavily criticised.
As part of the savings, which would keep all 20 Norfolk recycling sites open, the Worstead opening hours would be reduced from April 1 next year from seven days a week to Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays.
Angie Fitch-Tillett, NNDC cabinet member for environmental services, said: “I’m very disappointed. It will be the district council that picks up the problem when people start fly-tipping.”
Between April 1, 2012 and March 31 last year NNDC dealt with 337 incidents of fly-tipping, costing £22,500, and brought seven successful prosecutions.
There are also worries that landowners will have to foot the bill for removing items dumped on their land.
Tim Woodward, east regional surveyor for the Country Land and Business Association, said: “It costs around £800 to deal with each incidence of non-toxic fly-tipped waste on private land. And there is the potential for landowners to be prosecuted purely because they have not removed waste tipped on their land.”
Glyn Williams, NNDC member for Worstead, said: “The district council has always opposed the proposed charges. We should be encouraging recycling. Charging would only deter people from using the centres. It is OK saying people can use other sites but some of them are not easily accessible.
“It is a nonsense policy charging for some centres and not others. It is short-sighted and a backward step for recycling.”
He said a lot of people used the Worstead tip, on Sandy Hills, Old Yarmouth Road, North Walsham.
Rhodri Oliver, NNDC councillor for Sheringham, said it was “gratuitously unfair” to put charges on some sites and not others.
He said it would cost more than £2 for people to travel from the Worstead area to the Sheringham tip on Holt Road, East Beckham.
North Walsham town, district and county councillor, Eric Seward, said despite the proposal being agreed on February 17 it was not set in stone and he would oppose the measure during future county council budget debates.
A county council spokesman said: “All of the evidence we have points very strongly to the fact that it is extremely rare for householders to fly-tip - it’s something that is generally done by unscrupulous waste operators who want to avoid paying the cost of disposal at trade sites.
“Both fears are possible, but we feel that the changes we have made mean that the vast majority of residents will still be within a reasonable distance of a free site. And the changes mean that no sites will have to close.”
What do you think about the charges? Email firstname.lastname@example.org