Challenge to Lancashire recycling centre closure decision

A challenge has been mounted to a decision to close four recycling centres announced by Lancashire County Council (LCC).

Five Labour opposition members in County Hall are "calling in" the decision to shut the centres in Great Harwood, Bacup, Colne, Garstang.

LCC's Albert Atkinson said closures were "to protect our highest priority services to vulnerable people".

Councillor Ciaran Wells said he had "no choice" but to "call-in" the decision.

'Dark day'

The notice has been signed by county councillors Mohammed Iqbal, George Adam, Ciaran Wells, Clive Grunshaw and Miles Parkinson. It means the decision will now be put on hold and go before the council's next scrutiny committee.

Mr Iqbal, councillor for Brierfield and Nelson North, described the decision as "a dark day".

He said: "We have called the decision in and are asking Councillor Atkinson and the scrutiny committee to revisit and think about the levels of fly-tipping and the extra journeys they are going to put on hard-hit Lancashire families."

Mr Atkinson, deputy leader of the Conservative-led council, said the closures would save the authority £520,000.

He said: "The county council faces unprecedented financial challenges with no choice but to save £179m over the next three years if we are to protect our highest priority services to vulnerable people, and we can no longer sustain so many recycling centres so close to each other.

"People can now recycle most everyday items using their kerbside collections, with recycling centres there for the occasional times they need to dispose of bulky rubbish or items which can't be collected.

Councillor for Great Harwood Ciaran Wells said: "It is extremely disappointing and residents who use and rely on this service feel really let down.

"It will also increase fly-tipping and the financial burden will go straight back on the taxpayer."

Leader of LCC Geoff Driver said: "There is no evidence to suggest closing recycling centres will lead to an increase fly-tipping."

The four sites are set to close from 19 March, with staff remaining on site until the end of 1 April depending on the findings of the scrutiny committee.

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