A Lincoln councillor has claimed that Lincolnshire County Council failed to properly process a petition to reopen the recycling centre at Whisby.
Labour city and county councillor Rosanne Kirk said that over 1,200 residents who signed the petition had been “dealt a double blow” by the council, who not only closed the facility but “ignored the voices” of those who protested.
Lincolnshire County Council closed the recycling centre at the end of March along with a site at Leadenham as part of plans to cut its annual waste and recycling budget by £400,000.
The petition to reopen the tip was presented to Lincolnshire County Council’s full council meeting on May 20, but Councillor Kirk has claimed that it was not then processed after being received.
She said: “It should have been processed and then passed onto Reg Shore the Executive Councillor for Waste and Recycling.
“After finding out that this important petition had been overlooked I asked for immediate answers from the council and the officers involved.
“I have been informed that it was an administrative error and this is the only petition to have not been processed correctly.
“I have received a further letter from Reg Shore who has said that even if he had received the petition it would not have affected his and the council’s decision to close the facility.
I will let residents make their own reflections on this decision.
In response, Councillor Reg Shore said: “I was present when Councillor Kirk spoke of the petition at full council on May 20 and listened to the case put forward. This enabled me to fully understand the feelings of residents.
“With the county council needing to make savings of £42 million this year alone, like all service areas, including adult social care, children’s services, highways and fire and rescue, I had to find savings in the waste and recycling budget.
I took the decision to close the site at Whisby because of the cost pressures and limited site provision, however I have ensured 95% of residents are within a 12 mile radius, and of those, the vast majority are actually within two or three miles of a centre.
“For those who live closer to Newark than Lincoln, we are currently working on an agreement with Nottinghamshire County Council which means these residents will be able to use Newark HWRC to recycle their rubbish.”
Councillor Shore also claimed that the number of fly-tipping incidents in North Kesteven had decreased since the closure of the facility.
He added: “We’ve been working closely with North Kesteven District Council and we can see from the figures that there is decreasing number of fly-tipping incidents in the district – from 133 in February to 71 in July, after it closed in April.
“That said, fly-tipping is a problem nationally rather than specifically in Lincolnshire. We are working together with the district councils to take enforcement action against the criminals who illegally dump their rubbish and blight our lovely countryside.”