‘Chaos’ claim as rubbish tip hours reduction takes hold

DM16148627a.jpg. Littlehampton Household Waste Recycling Site. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-161016-122511008

DM16148627a.jpg. Littlehampton Household Waste Recycling Site. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-161016-122511008

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Changes to opening hours at Littlehampton tip has caused unacceptable ‘chaos’, a councillor has claimed.

Liberal Democrat town, district and county councillor Dr James Walsh has criticised West Sussex County Council’s decision to close the Mill Road facility on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at the start of the month.

“I just want to make you aware of the chaos at this site last weekend,” he wrote in a letter to cabinet member for residents’ services David Barling.

Dr Walsh said traffic last weekend had at times partially blocked the A284, while he had seen and had reports of several cases of fly-tipping since the hours were changed.

Readers on the Gazette’s Facebook page on Monday reported fly-tipping in areas including Norfolk Gardens and Madehurst Lane.

But despite the concerns, Mr Barling told Dr Walsh there had not been an increase in reported fly-tips compared with previous months and years.

He acknowledged the later opening of 10am following the annual start of winter opening hours had caused a ‘degree of congestion’ but noted queues had soon dissipated.

Speaking to the Gazette, Mr Barling said: “The big picture is that we have to produce an estimated £2million of savings in our waste budget and if we don’t do that then other sensitive services will have to have a corresponding reduction in budgets, such as children’s services or adult social care.

“We have taken a decision to spend less on household waste sites in order to protect sensitive services.

“We are in the first two weeks after the change which coincides with the winter hours of opening, which have always been less, and we hope that residents will understand why we have had to do this and adjust their visits accordingly.”

The county council intends to appoint two specialist officers to provide back up to district council enforcement teams, whose responsibility includes dealing with fly-tipping. Authorities must report incidents to DEFRA, so statistics are monitored.

n What do you think? Email news@littlehamptongazette.co.uk