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MP calls on councils to end HWRC wrangle

Communities secretary Eric Pickles has been asked to intervene after two councils stopped allowing each other’s residents to use their household waste recycling centres (HWRCs).

Making a plea to Pickles at the House of Commons, Conservative MP Philip Davies for Shipley said many of his constituents in the Menston area of Bradford used the nearby Ellar Ghyll HWRC, located just inside the Leeds City Council boundary.

Davis said previous reciprocation between Leeds and Bradford over the use of the site had ended with Leeds insisting only its own residents can use its HWRCs.

“That means that my [Bradford] constituents will have to pass a tip that is next door to them to visit one that is a number of miles away, and it will undoubtedly lead to more fly-tipping,” said Davies.

“Will the secretary of state intervene and knock some heads together in order to reverse the ridiculous decision of the Labour council in Bradford?”

In response Pickles said: “It is immensely important to recognise the purpose of this arrangement, which is to ensure that members of the public receive a decent service.

“When I was leader of Bradford council, I enjoyed a very harmonious relationship with Leeds, and I hope that that relationship can be quickly restored.”

Andrew Thornton, Bradford’s executive member for environment and sport, told MRW: “There has never been an agreement between Bradford and Leeds councils about HWRC usage. Restriction of the use of Leeds HWRCs is a matter for Leeds.

“Despite the enormous pressure of cuts in Government cuts Bradford has maintained a network of HWRCs across the district, all within reasonable travelling distance for our council tax payers.”

Leeds’ Liberal Democrat councillors have also raised concerns that limiting use of the Ellar Ghyll to Leeds residents would put its future in doubt as the number of users decreases. The council is reviewing its HWRC provision.

A Leeds council spokesperson said: “In today’s financial climate, we simply cannot offer what is effectively a subsidy to other councils for waste disposal.

“In an ideal world, we wouldn’t need to worry about crossing borders to drop off our recycling, but when facing tough financial times, we need to be sure that our services are benefitting our council tax payers. With eight recycling centres across the city, people won’t have to travel too far to their nearest Leeds site.”

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