Plans to close a West Norfolk village recycling centre and slash operating times at two other sites have been approved by a county council committee today.
Members of Norfolk County Council’s environment, development and transport (EDT) committee voted to support plans to shut the centre in Docking during a meeting in Norwich this morning.
They also backed proposals to reduce operations at the sites in Heacham and Ashill, as well as a third site at Morningthorpe, near Norwich, to four days a week from the present seven.
Andrew Morrison, who represents Docking on West Norfolk Council and addressed the meeting, said: “I’m very disappointed and the people of the 20 surrounding villages who are served by it will be very disappointed.”
Ahead of the meeting, county officials insisted they could not afford to keep the Docking centre, which is the smallest of the 20 recycling centre across Norfolk, open.
However, the meeting was told that the closure plan, which will be the subject of a public consultation, would only account for around a quarter of the estimated £280,000 per year savings identified in the plan as a whole.
Mr Morrison said: “I realise that the impact of cuts from central government has been very difficult to manage, but we at the borough council have managed very well.
“It’s sad to see that, for a relatively small amount, that they don’t see this as a way of being loyal to the sort of people they should be seeking to support, rural communities that are suffering from not very good broadband, not very good tranpsort and feel neglected because they pay the same council tax.”
Mr Morrison also expressed concerns that the decision could lead to more increased fly-tipping in the area.
But officials told the meeting there was no evidence to support that argument.
It is also expected that EDT committee chairman Toby Coke will attend a special meeting in Docking on the issue in the next few weeks.