Campaigners labelled East Sussex County Council’s proposals to keep Seaford tip open three days a week as “closure by the back door.”
The county council’s cabinet is set to decide tomorrow (Tuesday February 28) on a proposal to allow the Cradle Hill recycling site to remain open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Members of the Campaign to Save Cradle Hill from Closure rejected the scheme pointing out this would lead to traffic chaos at the site.
Bob Downing of the campaign’s steering committee said: “The 10,460 signature petition calling for the Seaford Site not to close was signed by half the adult population in good faith, and we will continue to press for full opening, as the people of Seaford have clearly indicated this is what they want.
“Over 30 volunteers have leafleted some 75 per cent of Seaford and the feedback we’ve had confirms the overwhelming need felt for the site to stay open on weekdays.
“Our concern is that reducing Cradle Hill to part-time hours is, in effect, closure via the back door.”
The proposal means the site will close four days a week.
The group argued opening for three days a week fell short of what the people of Seaford had clearly asked for, and dismissed out of hand the traffic chaos which would arise every Friday when residents tried to deliver five days’ worth of rubbish.
County councillor Carolyn Lambert (L.Dem, Seaford Blatchington) said: “Seaford residents have been clear in their opposition to this ridiculous proposal and I will continue to support them in opposing what is in effect closure.”
County councillor, Peter Charlton (UKIP, Ouse Valley East) said: “We are calling for the matter to be debated in a full council meeting, particularly as Seaford has no Conservative councillors or representation in the cabinet.”
Last week the proposal to keep Seaford tip open for three days a week was welcomed by Seaford councillors.
Originally the county council was proposing to close the popular tip in Seaford, which caused uproar in the local community.
The plan was for residents to use the tip in Newhaven instead and rely on kerbside recycling, operated by Lewes District Council to dispose of some items.
However the proposal sparked concerns from both Newhaven and Seaford residents who were worried about congestion on the A259.
They also raised the issues of the inability of Newhaven tip to cope with more visitors and fly tipping.
The county council said it faced a reduction in funding of about £70m over the next three years.
Last week deputy leader of Lewes District Council cllr Rob Blackman (Con, Seaford East) said: “With the huge savings that ESCC have to make this is the best deal we are going to get.
“It won’t please everyone, but we have to be mindful of the massive task facing the county council and the recent report which found no operational reasons for keeping the tip open.
“Most people use the tip at weekends and securing its opening over the weekend was our chief concern.”
District councillor Sam Adeniji, (Con, Seaford South) who led the petition to keep the tip open, said: “A reduced service is better than no service and it’s great to see that ESCC has listened to the strength of feeling that existed in the town.”
For further information the campaign website is www.stfc.org.uk.