‘Well-run, well-used’ site is under threat

The Household Waste Recovery Centre in North Sunderland.
The Household Waste Recovery Centre in North Sunderland.

Councillors in Seahouses feel that any cuts leading to a reduction in opening hours at waste sites should be fair and shared around the county.

At Monday’s meeting of North Sunderland Parish Council, members discussed their response to a county-council consultation as part of efforts to cut £130,000 from the waste-management budget.

As previously reported, the operating times of the facilities in North Sunderland and Wooler, as well as those in Allendale, Haltwhistle and Kirkley West Thorn, are currently under review.

County councillor John Woodman said: “If you look at all of the sites, there are five which have conspicuously less use than any of the others. Inevitably, they are in sparser rural areas.

“It seems to me that the most important thing is that it stays open, it’s important that the times of opening are certain, it’s important it’s open at the weekend and it’s important it’s open at some point when the businesses can also access them, ie, through the working week.”

He suggested that the parish council could object to the proposals, but should also put forward what must be maintained if the reduction was imposed.

Referring to an example in which it would be open for four days – Friday to Monday, Coun Sylvia Hillan said: “Why do we have to lose three days? Why can’t we lose one day or half a day and other places lose the same?”

Coun David Donaldson added: “This one draws from a very large area; it’s the only one between Alnwick and Berwick on the coastal strip.”