By Michael Davies firstname.lastname@example.org
CONSULTATION: Ranmore Road’s recycling centre is among those that could be closed, have its hours reduced or start charging to deal with some waste under Surrey County Plans
Dorking councillor Stephen Cooksey, who is also a member of the county council, has slammed the consultation into proposals to reduce or charge for waste services in Surrey.
He believes the questions being asked in the consultation will only lead to the introduction of something Surrey residents do not agree with because it does not give them the option to reject the plans outright.
The county council is currently consulting over whether to reduce services by closing some recycling centres down or reducing their opening hours or introducing charges for some waste.
Mr Cooksey is calling on Mole Valley District Council to use its influence as a member of the Surrey Waste Partnership to try and stop the changes from happening.
At a meeting of the district council’s scrutiny committee last week he introduced a resolution, which was backed 4-3, calling on MVDC to tell the county council that the options in the consultation are not acceptable.
He also warned that reducing the services at the district’s recycling centres would inevitably lead to an increase in fly-tipping.
“The county council is running a flawed consultation on the future of its recycling centres,” he told the meeting.
“It is seeking the views of residents and organisations on four options.”
He added: “It will, no doubt, seek to implement those options which the consultation results suggest will be more acceptable to residents than the others. In fact none of them are acceptable to residents but the consultation doesn’t cater for such a response.”
Mole Valley has one of the highest recycling rates in the county, according to council figures, and members of the scrutiny committee agreed that the consultation put forward by the county did not give residents enough information to make informed decisions.
Councillor Mary Huggins added that she had been unable to complete the questionnaire because of the questions.
“I don’t prefer any of [the options] thanks very much,” she said.
“I want to be able to take my waste to the tip when I need to.”
Committee chairman Chris Townsend echoed the same concerns, adding that the consultation did not say which centres would be closed or which would have their opening hours reduced.
But Councillor Duncan Irvine opposed simply saying the council did not want any of the options and said it should look to find the “least worst” option.
Councillor Cooksey’s resolution will now go before MVDC’s executive, where councillors will decide whether or not to adopt it as council policy.