Liberal Democrat county councillors in Surrey have expressed their disappointment following a decision today by the Conservative Cabinet to slash the opening hours of Community Recycling Centres across the county and increase charges for residents.
The decision will see Community Recycling Centres close for an extra 20 days a week, as well as an end to the free daily allowance. The Cabinet decision follows a petition handed in by Liberal Democrat campaigners of 3,245 signatures, plus an enormous response to the county council's own consultation of 13,637 people.
Cllr Stephen Cooksey, Liberal Democrat Environment Spokesperson, said:
"I addressed the Conservative Cabinet today, in order to object to these ill thought out proposals and to hold the Conservatives to account for their decisions. I recognise the difficult financial position that central government has imposed on the County Council but just 3 months ago, in June, the Cabinet were out campaigning for that government's return and must therefore carry equal responsibility for the refusal of that government to ensure adequate funding for this Council to maintain services to its residents.
"CRC'S were a success story - they provided residents with a helpful and convenient method of disposing of waste; they helped Councils to improve their waste collections; they made a major contribution to improving our environment and they were a significant deterrent to fly tipping.
"I believe, as do the majority of my residents, that the remaining package including the increased charges and closure days are self-defeating and unacceptable and am fearful that the reduced waste collections will lead to damage to the environment and increased fly tipping. Surrey residents deserve so much better than this."
- The Cabinet decision can be found here: