No plans to allow West Berkshire residents access to Smallmead
"We need to have a chance for our new systems to embed," says re3
WEST Berkshire residents are still no closer to being allowed access to Smallmead Recycling Centre in Reading, three months after a ban was announced.
In May plans for a new permit system were revealed by Re3, which manages the site, to prevent West Berkshire residents using the facility.
Re3, a waste management partnership made up of Reading, Wokingham and Bracknell councils, said the move was a result of West Berkshire Council’s decision to cease funding into the partnership.
The move meant that West Berkshire residents in the east of the district faced up to a 30-mile round trip to Newbury to dispose of their household waste.
However, plans to allow West Berkshire residents continued access to the site through a pay- per-use scheme had been mooted, with Wokingham Borough Council’s executive member for environment Angus Ross saying: “Once the access change has been implemented, there may be scope to review the situation and assess whether Re3 would be able to admit non-Re3 area visitors by charging a fee for them to deposit their waste at the Bracknell and Reading recycling centres.”
More than three months later, however, Re3 has admitted it has not yet considered allowing West Berkshire residents access to the site.
Spokesperson for Re3, Anna Fowler, told the Newbury Weekly News: “We are still implementing changes.
“Once all that has been implemented we can see if there’s anyway we can introduce the pay-per-use plan.
“We need to have a chance for our new systems to embed before we look at that though.”
West Berkshire councillor Alan Macro (Lib Dem, Theale) said: “They only said they were going to consider it, but I was hoping they were going to consider it a bit quicker than this.
“This is a burning issue at our end of the district.
“There’s so many people still complaining about it because it’s a hell of a long way to go to Newbury to dump your waste.
“I’m very disappointed they’re not taking this a bit more seriously.”
The news comes as plans to expand the recycling centre at Padworth to accept household waste are still yet to be finalised.