Shotley: Hundreds attend meeting over plans to axe Chelmondiston tip

HUNDREDS of outraged residents voiced their anger at plans to axe a recycling site at a public meeting last night.

More than 200 people living on the Shotley peninsula packed Shotley Village Hall, calling for a “stay of execution”, from Suffolk County Council’s plans to close Chelmondiston waste site in May.

The site, which costs �81,000-a-year to operate, is on the council’s hit-list, along with another site at Bramford.

Liberal Democrat deputy leader, and county councillor for the Shotley peninsula, David Wood said the meeting was the first form of public consultation on the matter. “Not to have consultation was wrong,” he said. “The community want to know what they can do to keep the site open.

“The turnout was phenomenal, it is great to get the views of people, it is a great benefit to me. The biggest thing we have got out of tonight is that we can continue to talk. It has been a bit of a closed shop but hopefully now we will be able to talk and come up with some results.”

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Mr Wood said he had visited the Portman Road recycling site last weekend and was forced to queue for about half-an-hour to get into the site. “Things like this are very dear to people,” he added. “I don’t think the Portman Road site has the capacity to deal with all the extra

Liberal Democrat leader Kathy Pollard, who was also at the meeting, said it is “ridiculous” to think the county council did not have time to consult with the community on the future of the facility.

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“They (SCC) would have known two years ago what their budget was going to be,” she said.

“To say they could not tell the community in advance is ridiculous. What we were asking for tonight was a stay of execution, to give the community some time to put forward an alternative, in order to keep the site open.

“The number of people here tonight shows the strength of feeling, there is a huge will here to make it succeed.”

When the council’s plans were announced, Suffolk County Council said their aim was to ensure the “vast majority” of Suffolk residents could reach a recycling site within 20 minutes drive time.

Lisa Chambers, county councillor with responsibility for waste said: “We have been especially mindful to keep a good spread of sites across our rural county.”

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