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East Sussex tips saved from closure - but will only open three days a week
Three waste tips threatened with closure will remain open three days a week.
East Sussex County Council planned to close household waste recycling centres in Seaford, Forest Row and Wadhurst as the authority looks to slash spending by nearly £70 million over the next three years.
The authority argued each site was within 10 to 20 minutes of another facility and said the local road network would be able to deal with the additional traffic at weekends.
Thousands of residents opposed the plans and 8,700 people signed a petition against the closure of Seaford’s Cradle Hill site.
At a meeting of the county authority on Tuesday evening councillors voted to keep the facilities open for three days a week.
The sites will now run a reduced service on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Carl Maynard, Conservative councillor and lead member for transport and environment, said: “We’re very grateful to everyone who took part in the consultation and their views have helped us to come up with a revised plan which balances the requirement to make savings with local need for services.
“The need to reduce our waste budget has not gone away, but it’s important that we have a flexible approach which is able to adapt to fresh evidence and respond accordingly.
“The changes at these three sites are just one part of the county’s overall waste strategy, which will see us aim to divert more than 95 per cent of waste from landfill, making East Sussex a greener and more energy-efficient county.”
But Carolyn Lambert, Liberal Democrat county councillor, said the proposal in Seaford was an insult to the town’s residents.
She added: “The county council claims that it is saving money but it is a complete waste of money and resources to have the tip closed for more days than it is open.
“The decision gives the people of Seaford the worst of all worlds.
“The queues at both Newhaven and Seaford will be horrendous and the environmental costs and disincentive to re-cycle are hugely damaging.”
The Liberal Democrat group on East Sussex County Council will put forward budget proposals on February 11 to fully fund the opening of the Seaford site for seven days a week.
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