Cumbria recycling centres closure plan scrapped

Plans which would have seen six recycling centres across Cumbria close have been shelved.

Cumbria County Council had proposed to axe centres in Ambleside, Brampton, Grange, Kirkby Stephen, Millom and Wigton, in an effort to save about £2m.

But after opposition the authority has opted to cut the opening hours of all its recycling sites instead.

A council spokesman said the amended plan would still bring in savings of about £1.5m a year by 2013.

'Best balance'

The authority is to renegotiate a 25-year deal with contractor Shanks which will see some recycling centres open for just two days a week.

Tim Knowles, the council's cabinet member for environment, said: "The new arrangements are fairer for everyone and spread the burden of having to make savings across the whole recycling network rather than going for all-out closure on any single site.

"In an ideal world we wouldn't have to cut our opening hours or our days, but in a financial climate where the council has had to make £44m of savings last year, plus over £20m this year, something has to give.

"I believe that these new reduced hours strike the best possible balance.

"The new opening hours will mean the public will need to plan ahead more than they currently do when using a site."

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