‘I am pleased for the people of North Walsham’ - plans to reduce opening hours at Worstead tip near North Walsham are put on hold

Worstead Recycling Centre.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY


A bid to cut opening hours at a north Norfolk recycling centre from seven to four days a week has been put on hold.

Eric Seward.

Eric Seward. - Credit: Archant

And plans to charge £2 per visit at the Worstead tip have been shelved, in light of a government announcement of new rules to stop local authorities making charges for taking household waste to recycling centres.

Norfolk county councillors made the decision about the changes, which they had hoped would save the council £450,000, at last week's environment, development and transport committee meeting.

Eric Seward, county councillor for North Walsham east, said he welcomed the decision to postpone the reduced hours until a review was completed.

'I am pleased for the people of North Walsham and the villages surrounding the town. I hope we can reach a solution by September,' he said.

The council had proposed a three-year programme of tip changes as part of plans to plug a £189m central government funding shortfall.

Now it has asked for a review of all its recycling centres, to look at how savings could be made in other ways.

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North Walsham mayor Richard Sims said the decision to hold a review and postpone the reduced hours was a step in the right direction.

'From the town's point of view it is excellent,' he said.

There was always a concern about the possible increase in fly tipping. Hopefully this will help relieve things.'

Hours were going to be reduced at recycling centres in Worstead, Ashill, Heacham, Morningthorpe, and Strumpshaw next month, with centres open for four days, over a long weekend, instead of seven.

The council said this would save £167,000 a year, and meant 11 of the council's 20 recycling centres would have been run on a part-time basis.

Recycling centres in Sheringham and Fakenham were not to be affected.

A £2 per visit charge was to be introduced at nine part-time sites, including Worstead, from April next year, hoping to raise £280,000 a year.

But in January the government proposed an order to prevent council's charging at any recycling centres, following concerns over the number of councils proposing charges.

County council chairman of the environment, development and transport committee Toby Coke said pressing the pause button on the changes was a good decision.

He added: 'It gives us more time to take a fresh look at our current range of services and infrastructure and see whether they really are helping Norfolk's residents to recycle as much of their waste as possible.'

What do you think? Write (including your full name and contact details) to The Letters Editor, North Norfolk News, 31 Church Street, Cromer, NR27 9ES or email nnn.letters@archant.co.uk