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West Sussex Labour councillors call for tips to be reopened urgently

As the county council’s amenity tips continue to remain closed across West Sussex, Labour councillors are pressing the county council to take urgent steps to re-open them with appropriate distancing measures in place, as tips elsewhere in the county have already begun to operate again and West Sussex residents report increased fly tipping in their areas.

 

 

West Sussex Labour Group Leader Councillor Michael Jones has written today to the cabinet member for the environment (Cllr Deborah Urquhart) at the Tory-run council Deborah Urquhart, raising deep concerns over the continued indefinite closure of all of the county’s amenity tips.

 

 

The Labour group say that in response to the coronavirus, West Sussex County Council hurriedly shut tips soon after the full lockdown was imposed, on March 22.  They say that the council claimed that it had proved difficult due to the design of the tips to get people to sufficiently socially distance.

 

Labour councillors claim that reports coming to them from residents from around the county has indicated a significant increase in complaints about fly tipping and increasing frustration from residents who cannot dispose of waste which is not appropriate to be put in the general waste collection bins at home.

 

There are also reports that in addition these closures have also prompted an increase in home bonfires across the county.  This is also a cause of concern as bonfire smoke can aggravate people with coronavirus and other respiratory diseases. District and parish councils have put out news releases asking people to cease lighting bonfires, for this very reason.

 

 

 

In his letter, Cllr Jones warns the cabinet member that such reports are indicating that residents are becoming under increasing stress and pressure during the lockdown about disposing rubbish and that not only was this likely to risk the increase of inappropriate things being put in household bins, residents are reporting more fly tipping which is also having a negative impact on their quality of life.

 

Cllr Jones also further calls for efforts to be made by the county council to re-open all the tips in West Sussex, perhaps with an appointment-based system where members of the public can arrange either online or through the West Sussex call centre to come to their local tip to dump their waste, with appropriate restrictions in numbers so that social distancing measures can be in place.

 

 

 

Speaking after sending the letter Cllr Jones said: “I have already raised this with the Leader of the county council two weeks ago, but if supermarkets and other shops have been able to introduce social distancing measures quickly and effectively, despite their own design constraints, then surely it cannot be beyond the county council to take the steps needed to open the tips in a safe and efficient way.

 

 

 

“The longer this goes on, the more the Tories at West Sussex are letting down every single resident in the county.  I doubt they will be offering a rebate for all the services that our residents are currently paying council tax for, but aren’t receiving.”

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