Labour councillors and candidates launch community petition to reverse the West Sussex Tories decision to limit access to the county council tips and imposing a booking system
For several years now the Tories at West Sussex County Council have imposed more and more restrictions on residents using their local tip.
- In 2017 – they tried to charge residents for disposing of ‘non-household waste’ – like soil or plasterboard from DIY projects but were forced into a humiliating U-turn.
- In 2018 – they closed County sites for up to 2 days a week – supposedly just for the winter months but the closures remain.
- In 2019 – they required residents to provide ID before being allowed access.
- Now they are restricting use to booked appointments only and just once in seven days.
This latest restriction, which Labour county councillors strongly opposed at recent Cabinet and scrutiny committee meetings, was pushed through with no public consultation. Labour believe that making residents book a slot no more than once in any 7 day period is both unreasonable and short sighted.
The Tories say it’s because queuing is causing a nuisance. But that has only been a regular problem in many of the tips since 50% of the bays had to be closed to meet Covid safety rules. There is also every chance the “trial” will be made permanent and extended to all tips in the county, particularly given the expense to the council of buying the booking system software to implement the change. So this cut to our services is effectively being slipped in under cover of Covid and may well spread and become permanent.
They also don’t appear to have considered the environmental impact at all. More fly tipping (though local councils will pay for that, not West Sussex), more disposal of rubbish by burning and less recycling are all likely outcomes.
Just as our Council Tax rises come through in the post, they cut this important service without asking residents at all and that’s just wrong. Alison Cornell
Launching the countywide petition, West Sussex Labour candidate for Langley Green and Ifield East Alison Cornell, whose area includes Crawley’s Household Waste and Recycling Centre at County Oak, said: “Again, the West Sussex Tories try to talk green at election times, but consistently fail to put it into practice in office. Labour have already called them out for repeatedly dragging their feet on divesting the council’s pension funds from fossil fuel companies – this is just another example of their hypocrisy.
“Just as our Council Tax rises come through in the post, they cut this important service without asking residents at all and that’s just wrong. That’s why Labour have set up a petition so that residents can tell these councillors what they think. I urge all people who are unhappy to sign the petition.”
We believe this ill-conceived policy will cause difficulty for many residents Colin Lloyd
Launching the petition with Mrs Cornell is Labour county council candidate for Tilgate and Furnace Green Colin Lloyd. Mr Lloyd, has significant knowledge of the subject area having been Cabinet Member for Environmental Services at Crawley Borough Council between 2002-06 and 2014-16. Mr Lloyd added: “
“We believe this ill-conceived policy will cause difficulty for many residents who, as council taxpayers, absolutely have a right to use their local tip without this sort of ridiculous level of interference. It is clear the council have not fully considered the consequences. It will almost certainly reduce the amount of material that is recycled, may well result in an increase of bonfires and worst of all, we will see more fly tipping – all to the detriment of our environment.
So now there are two ways residents can send a message to local Tories that residents won't put up with the unacceptable way they are running this important public service: Sign the petition and vote for Labour candidates Cllr Michael Jones
Sign the petition (below) and vote for Labour candidates who will vote to open our local tips seven days a week.
We call on West Sussex County Councillors to reverse their decision to impose a booking system and further limit access to the county’s tips and instead respond to the current higher demand by restoring full access and opening sites for seven full days a week for as long as it is needed.