Tue, 12 Jun 2018
THE deputy opposition leader of West Berkshire Council Liberal Democrat group has said the decision to allow residents in the eastern part of the district to use Padworth Recycling Centre was long overdue.
Alan Macro (Lib Dem, Theale) welcomed a move which will no longer require residents in Theale, Calcot and Tilehurst to make a 30-mile round trip to dispose of their household waste at Newbury – which they have had to do for the past two years.
In 2016, as a cost-cutting measure, West Berkshire Council withdrew its funding for the Smallmead Recycling Centre in Reading, which meant residents were banned from using the site.
But last month, district councillors backed two separate proposals submitted by Veolia Environmental Services – the company which operates the facility on behalf of West Berkshire Council.
This included altering the opening hours to between 8am and 6pm, Mondays to Sundays, and the change of use of the Padworth Integrated Waste Management Facility, the latter which Mr Macro supported.
A relieved Mr Macro said: “This planning application should have been made as soon as the Conservative administration at West Berks Council decided to stop paying for its residents to use the waste site in Reading.
“That way, there would have been little or no delay between them being stopped from using Smallmead and being able to use Padworth for their non-recyclable waste.”
Padworth Recycling Centre is currently open from 12.30pm until 6pm on weekdays and from 8am until 6pm at weekends.
But Mr Macro lamented the decision to extend the site’s opening times from 8am and 6pm, Mondays to Sundays – and like other councillors present at the meeting lamented the fact that no representative from Veolia had turned up to negotiate a later opening time.
Mr Macro said: “I was very keen for the site to open on weekday mornings.
“However, I understood local residents’ concerns about waste site traffic conflicting with traffic to the schools and nurseries in the area during the morning peak.
“Unfortunately, there was no-one from the West Berks waste service or the waste contractor, Veolia, at the meeting.
“That meant that the committee could not be advised on the effect of opening the site at 9am or 10am instead of 8am.”