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Council closes HWRCs to outsiders

A local authority has decided to close its recycling centres to visitors from outside the area and make other cutbacks.

Following a consultation with residents last year, Luton Borough Council will now close both of its HWRCs for one day a week. From the end of January, the authority will also reduce opening hours at both sites.

Staff at the centres will also be spot-checking visitors on arrival to make sure they are Luton residents. A recent bill or driving licence will be accepted as ID.

Tom Shaw, portfolio holder for waste, said: “We’ve taken on board resident feedback, and the new opening times and days will start from the end of January. We will be monitoring these changes closely over the next few months and reporting back in September on our findings.”

A public consultation ran on 16-24 June 2016, and 73% of respondents agreed that non-Luton residents should not be allowed access to the recycling sites, while 45% agreed to closing sites one day a week and 35% to reducing centres’ opening hours.

However, only 7% backed the introduction of a limit on the amount of DIY waste accepted and such plans appear to have been scrapped.

When the review was launched, the council said it had to find savings to meet central Government funding cuts.

“Since 2013-14, the amount of funding that we receive from the Government has reduced by 55%, and we are expecting our Revenue Support Grant to be reduced by a further £28m over the next four years.”

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