Call to stop booking system trial at Crawley tip
Calls to stop the introduction of a booking system trial at Crawley’ rubbish tip have been made by Labour election candidates.
The system, which is expected to come online this week, will see residents able to book one visit per week up to 14 days in advance, with a set number of slots allocated per half hour.
It will be used for six months at the household waste recycling sites in Bognor Regis, Crawley Horsham Littlehampton, Shoreham and Worthing.
West Sussex County Council has brought the system in due to significant queuing and congestion at several sites and ahead of the ‘spring surge’.
But in Crawley, Labour campaigners have raised concerns that this has been agreed without any level of public consultation.
They point out how the queues have only been a regular problem since half the bays have had to be closed to meet Covid safety rules and are worried the trial will be made permanent.
There are also concerns about a possible rise in fly tipping and reduction in recycling.
Launching a county-wide petition, Labour’s county council candidate for Langley Green and Ifield East Alison Cornell, said: “Just as our council tax rises come through in the post, they [West Sussex Tories] cut this important service without asking residents at all and that’s just wrong.
“That’s why Labour have set up a petition so that residents can tell these councillors what they think. I urge all people who are unhappy to sign the petition.”
Launching the petition with Mrs. Cornell is Labour county council candidate for Tilgate and Furnace Green Colin Lloyd, who is a former cabinet member for environmental services at Crawley Borough Council.
He said: “We believe this ill-conceived policy will cause difficulty for many residents who, as council taxpayers, absolutely have a right to use their local tip without this sort of ridiculous level of interference.
“It is clear the council have not fully considered the consequences. It will almost certainly reduce the amount of material that is recycled, may well result in an increase of bonfires and worst of all, we will see more fly tipping – all to the detriment of our environment.”
To view the petition visit www.crawleylabour.org.uk/news/2021/03/13/wscc_tip
A spokesperson for West Sussex County Council said: “We are committed to making it as easy, fair and safe as possible for as many residents as possible to easily recycle and access our Household Waste Recycling Sites (HWRSs). We need to allow for the spring upsurge in demand while we are still subject to social distancing rules without causing dangerous and frustrating traffic congestion and inconvenience to nearby residents and businesses.
“We see no reason why the scheme will reduce recycling levels. The sites will be open for the full range of materials and residents will not be under any increased pressure while on site. Residents will continue to have access to kerbside recycling collections and we encourage them to use these where possible.
“COVID-19 has reduced the number of residents who can safely access HWRSs at one time and we anticipate an increase in demand as restrictions begin to ease over the next few months. Residents will be consulted before the end of the trial period and we will be reviewing all aspects of the trial before deciding whether or not to extend it in any way.
“A number of other local authorities have successfully introduced booking systems and have not reported any uplift in flytipping as a result. Feedback from users has largely been positive and the booking system has improved the user experience.”