Council backs fight to save recycling centre

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THE battle to save the Household Waste Recycling Centre on the Colne/Nelson boundary has been backed by all three main parties on Pendle Council.

Lancashire County Council is considering closing it, which would mean people from Colne, Nelson and the villages would have to go to Burnley or Barnoldswick with their rubbish.

And the feeling with many people is that the closure would result in much more fly-tipping.

The Labour Party and Liberal Democrats voted in favour of sending the message to County Hall that they want it to stay, and most Conservatives also backed it.

Labour’s Coun. David Whalley moved the motion, which said the council was “appalled” by the idea of closure and wanted county to keep it open.

He said: “I feel it is important. We are getting a tremendous response from the public.”

He revealed that Mr Vincent Landon, of Fife Street, Barrowford, had collected a petition of just short of 1,500 names opposing the closure, and handed them in.

And he said: “It’s been well documented and well discussed. There has been a lot of threat about what may happen if it closes.”

He said people could end up dumping broken microwaves in their bins! “The grey bid will take a lot more waste than it does now,” he said. “We should have had special meetings on this. The final decision will actually be taken by one man. I would urge all our members to support the motion.”

Liberal Coun. Ann Kerrigan also handed in a petition, but she said: “I was told petition were no good!”

And Coun. Eileen Ansar, who also collected petition names, said: “I have never come across a situation where people are so disgusted. I have been working for the last 15 years to make Nelson a cleaner, better place.”

Tory Coun. James Starkie pointed out that the Conservatives on Pendle Council’s Executive opposed the closure in July.

And he said: “I hope you all agree it is very vigorous in the opposition to its closure. We vigorously opposed the proposal to close it. Thanks to the Leader Times Newspapers for opposing it.”

However, he suggested that one aspect of the latest motion - referring to the closure causing more fly-tipping - should be dropped. “It may well encourage people to do it,” he said.

Coun. George Askew - who is a county councillor - said: “I have been campaigning against this. I went to Colne Tip to talk to staff. I think it is the wrong decision.”

However, he pointed out that the county council had to save £127 million over the next four years. “We have got to make tough and difficult decisions. This is one of them,” he said. And he added: “The public still blame the Labour Party for the financial position we are in.”

Coun. David Whipp added: “In Barnoldswick, we too have opposed the closure of the Colne Recycling Centre.”

And he said: “We have suggested cut hours and staffing levels.”

And Coun. Tony Greaves said: “It is our job to say this is a vital facility for the people of Pendle. The county used to own the site - why don’t they own it now? Because they flogged it to make brass!”

Coun. Starkie appeared to be the only one to actually vote against it.

l Petition organiser Mr Landon had collected 1,485 signatures against the closure and after the meeting he thanked Coun. Whalley for handing in the long list. He also thanked Mr David Walker and a representative from Microtech in Nelson for collecting some of the names. And he said: “I would like to thank everyone who supported our petition. I would say 97% feel that the closure would increase fly-tipping.” He does not feel the Barnoldswick plant could cope with all the extra waste visitors.