Published: February 11, 2011
Highbridge recycling centre's opening hours to be cut from April

The opening hours at Highbridge Recycling Centre are set to be reduced as part of ongoing cost-cutting moves from the start of April, it was announced on Friday (February 11th).

Somerset County Council is aiming to make £37 million in cuts from its budget and has decided that around £1.9 million in savings over two years will come from Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP).

At Friday's meeting of Somerset Waste Board (SWB), which represents all six partner councils, it was agreed that reducing opening hours would be introduced at all the centres, including Highbridge's Isleport Industrial Estate facilities.

From April, it will close for two days a week, on Wednesdays and Thursdays, but will be remain open from Friday to Tuesday.

It will also remain open on both Saturdays and Sundays and have one weekday late night until 8pm in response to customer demand.

The changes bring the centre's hours down from 70 in the summer and 56 in winter to 40 hours a week year round.

New charges will also be introduced at the centre from 1st April for householders bringing hardcore and tyres. Specific figures are yet be announced.

"We are in a very difficult financial position and although we have to find the savings, SWB is exploring some alternative options on how the savings can be made," said SCC and SWB member Cllr David Hall.

"We are in detailed discussions with third parties, but cannot say more than this at the moment as it is highly sensitive and some factors are outside of our control. We are all working together to try to save some or all of the centres for at least the next year."

The SCC budget will be set on Wednesday 16th February at a public meeting that will debate the changes to recycling centres in response to concern expressed by local campaigners. SWB will receive a further report on whether any alternative options are viable on 25 March.


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