Reacting to the announcement that West Sussex County Council had suspended charges for taking DIY waste to its waste and recycling centres, Jim Deen, Labour candidate in the Worthing Pier division for the up-coming County Council elections said:
Labour is delighted that the County Council has seen sense and agreed to withdraw the charges for DIY waste taken to the Council’s waste and recycling centres. The Tory Council leaders could have avoided this humiliating U-turn if they had listened to the Labour group when the charges were first proposed six months ago.
We told them the charges were likely to be illegal and that they would inevitably result in less recyclable materials being brought to the centres and being fly-tipped around the county.
And we were absolutely right. The amount of DIY waste being taken to centres dropped by around 60%, and there was a very noticeable increase in fly-tipping around Worthing and across the County. The most extreme example was the huge pile left in the prominent Teville Gate site. This was largely composed of DIY waste.
The tragic thing is, we gave the Tory administration the opportunity to back down on these ill-considered charges at a Council meeting in March. Despite the overwhelming evidence that the charges were a disaster, they voted to keep them. Every Worthing Tory County Councillor present – Michael Cloake, Paul High, Roger Oakley, Bryan Turner and Steve Waight – voted to keep the charges.
Labour is now calling on the County Council to also reverse the cuts in opening hours of the waste and recycling centres. This was another ill-considered decision which has created chaos around the tips on the days when they are open, with huge queues of cars trying to access the sites, long delays in unloading, and full containers having to be closed down causing even more delays. This must also be having an effect on the amount of fly-tipping.
Labour feels it’s the obligation of the County Council to maximise the amount of waste being recycled by eliminating the barriers to using the waste centres. This means restoring 7-day opening and getting rid of all charges.