Bradford’s Conservative councillors are blaming the wrong Dave for the planned closure of Sugden End recycling centre at Cross Roads, according to a Labour councillor.
Andrew Thornton, executive member for the environment, was responding to what he believes to be a “ridiculous” claim the closure would mean people faced a half-hour drive to dump their waste.
He says the Tories are wrongly blaming council leader, Councillor Dave Green, for the cuts, when the blame lies with Prime Minister David Cameron.
The authority says the Cross Roads facility is the least used of its recycling centres, and the closure is necessary to save money in the light of central government funding cuts.
Coun Rebecca Poulsen, Conservative spokesman for regeneration, said: “I find it somewhat confusing that on the one hand the council is encouraging residents to take their refuse to the nearest waste transfer centre, yet at the same time budgeting to close Sugden End, despite it being a heavily used centre, which is much valued by local residents.
“Some will have to travel for as long as an extra half-an-hour to the next available recycling centre. Common sense suggests to me the less responsible amongst us will simply not bother and at worst resort to a bit of fly-tipping.
“I am confident the money the council hopes to save by this closure will prove to be a false economy, as the cost of tidying up after the additional mess this closure causes is likely to far outstrip a mere £100,000 or so per year.
“It is unreasonable to expect the more vulnerable or infirm members of our communities to travel this extra distance.”
But Coun Thornton responded: “Sugden End has the least number of visits of all our household waste recycling centres, and Coun Poulsen’s comment it would take an extra half-an-hour to drive to an alternative is ridiculous.
“Most homes will remain within a 15-minute drive of a centre and virtually all within 20 minutes’ drive. If she wants to ‘Blame Dave’ she needs to direct her anger at Mr Cameron.
“Government cuts in funding to local authorities have required budget reductions of £72 million in the past two years, and the council is now facing cuts of almost £30 million in 2013/14.
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