UPDATE - Docking recycling centre ‘will shut this month’, says council

Docking Recycling Centre
Docking Recycling Centre
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Norfolk County Council officials have this afternoon announced that Docking’s recycling centre will shut for good later this month, less than 24 hours after it was suggested the facility may be reprieved.

Parish councillors in Sedgeford were last night told that the Conservative group at County Hall was planning to overturn the move, having now secured a majority on the committee responsible for waste management.

Borough Council of King's Lynn and West Norfolk Councillors ENGANL00120130214162543

Borough Council of King's Lynn and West Norfolk Councillors ENGANL00120130214162543

Local division councillor Michael Chenery told the meeting: “We’re going to reverse, subject to budget, the decision on Docking recycling centre.”

He said senior officials in the party had pledged to find the money to keep the Docking site open.

But, a short time ago, the county council revealed the site would close for the final time at 4pm next Monday, December 28.

The announcement follows last month’s vote by its environment, development and transport (EDT) committee to confirm the closure plan.

A spokesman said: “From then on, residents are reminded to use the Heacham, Wells and Hempton sites, which are the next nearest, approximately a 20 minute drive away from Docking.”

The authority has also said that plans to cut operating days at the Heacham and Ashill recycling centres from seven to four will come into effect from January 18.

The Conservatives, who are the main opposition group, now have a majority on the EDT committee, following a re-structuring of committees earlier this week.

However, one County Hall source has suggested the ruling alliance of Labour, Liberal Democrat and UKIP councillors may seek to block any attempt to reverse the closure, by invoking a rule that prevents any council decision from being reviewed for at least six months.

Mr Chenery also told the meeting the Tories wanted to scrap the plan to close the Heacham fire station, which is currently part of a public consultation on plans to cut more than £120 million from the county council’s budget.

Earlier, community leaders welcomed the comments, but said they were still cautious about whether a change of mind could be secured.

Michael Williamson, chairman of Heacham parish council, said: “It is optimistic but we’re still fighting the case. We’re not sitting back thinking we’ve won. The feeling in the village is still very high.”