Councillor slams decision to revert back to five day opening schedule for Northampton's tips
"Our town is the fourth filthiest in the country. We need more and better services"
The council has backed its decision to revert back to a five day a week opening schedule for household waste and recycling centres in Northampton despite strong criticism from the opposition.
West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) has ended the temporary six-day opening schedule for the HMRCs at Sixfields, Brixworth, Daventry, Ecton Lane and Towcester, which was put in place this spring to deal with the increased demand during the pandemic.
When asked why the council is reverting back to a five-day schedule, Conservatice councillor Phil Larratt said WNC does not want to spend 'more of people's money than absolutely necessary'.
However, Labour councillor Danielle Stone said the move 'certainly will not save money' and told Cllr Larratt to 'think again'.
The council was asked: Why has the WNC reverted back to five days? Is this the best move given that fly-tipping is already a problem in the town?
Cllr Phil Larratt said: “We extended opening hours at our household waste and recycling centres in the spring due to pressures caused by the need for social distancing.
“Throughout the Covid pandemic, we’ve done all we can to keep the centres open and staff have needed to limit the number of people on site at any one time.
“Now the pressure on that service appears to have eased, we have been able to return to standard operating hours to ensure we don’t spend more of people’s money than absolutely necessary. Of course, we will continue to monitor the situation."
The council responded to the fly-tipping question by saying it 'does not accept' the decision will lead to an increase of rogue rubbish.
Cllr Larratt said: “We do not accept that a return standard operating will result in increased fly-tipping, which we’re conscious is a national problem and something that people persist with irrespective of the alternatives open to them.
"We believe that the open hours provide good opportunities for people to deal with their rubbish in a responsible manner, which I’m pleased to say the vast majority of people manage without resorting to unacceptable methods."
Cllr Danielle Stone blasted Cllr Larratt's response and is demanding 'better services' for the 'fourth filthiest town in the country'.
She said: "Reducing the opening hours for our recycling centres is the opposite of what should be happening.
"It certainly will not save money. We need a service that households can use before and after work, and during extended hours at weekends. We need to make it easier for everyone to recycle, not harder.
"Our town is the fourth filthiest in the country. A recent arrival to Northampton has compared us unfavourably to her previous town, saying Northampton looks like a third world country.
"We need more and better services. Think again Cllr Larratt."