Monday, 30 January 2012

Council savings: tip evening opening to end

EVENING opening at Solihull's only household waste recycling centre is to be axed to save cash.


Click the headline or link below to read the rest of this story.

The Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council cuts to Bickenhill Household Waste Recycling Centre are among forthcoming savings to be detailed by The Silhillian this week.

The council wants to reduce weekday opening hours at the Coventry Road tip from 8am to 8pm in the summer to 9am to 5pm.

The current winter opening hours from 8am to 6pm would be reduced to 9am to 4pm.

Weekend opens would change from 8am to 4.30pm to 9am to 4pm, all year round.

The move would save the cash strapped council £12,000 as part of £12m savings needed to balance its £145m budget in the 12 months from April. Its budget is down £5m on this year.

A further £20,000 would be saved the following year from reduce hours, it says.

The council could also cut the amount of visits allowed by vans and trailer owners from 12 to six. A permit scheme was introduced in October.

This would cut 611 tonnes of landfill – which the council is fined for – saving £39,000 next year, it adds.

The council has been given £51m by the Government has will raise most of the remaining cash for its budget through the council tax.

The council’s part of the bill - £1,173.72 for a band D home – is set to not increase thanks to cash support from Government.

Fire, police and parish councils get the rest, taking a band D bill this year to £1,321. These other authorities have yet to confirm next year's increase.

All savings plans will be discussed by the council's overview and scrutiny management board on Thursday. Click here for details.

Check back during the week for more details on how council savings will affect you.

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  1. This idea sounds good but the headline £12000 savings on this community services budget are fairly small. There is a basic sustainability question: is this a true efficiency saving or will the 'savings' simply turn up elsewhere as costs to the whole community (e.g. to deal with fly-tipping) or to individuals?

    Some things to consider:

    i. It might be that all residents can simply fit in with these new timings, at no cost to themselves, and the full £12000 savings to the Community Services budget can be realised.

    ii. Some residents might decide it is more convenient to hire private waste contractors and, in effect, elect not to use this common Community Service. This amount to a policy decision to transfer costs from a Community budget to individuals, encouraging private enterprise.

    iii. This action might encourage a greater use bins - maybe that extra load would be cost-free, maybe not.

    iv. This action might result in an increased incidence of fly-tipping which could be very costly.

    v. and, not forgetting that this action will probably result in job losses, adding to unemployment in Solihull and, potentially, calls on other Community budgets.

    Ultimately, our waste facility is an extremely valuable facility. We need to be sure that this is not a bean-counter approach to sustainable policy development.

    vi. Perhaps we need more ideas here? For example, I wonder if we would get a better and more acceptable result, avoiding staff losses, if we were to pilot a simple charging scheme with 'free' periods during the day and an entry fee for out of hours use? At least we would find out the extent to which residents, themselves, are willing and able to adjust their behaviours to save costs.

    Perhaps, we could make the road-side collection service more flexible, to avoid costly trips to the tip altogether?

  2. Chris your comments are well thought out and constructive thank you.

    My point would be that the revised opening hours exclude the possibility of a "mixed use" trip when travelling to and from work

  3. maybe they should just cut the number of people employed there. I am a regular user and note that the staff seem to simply standaround and very rarely do anything.

  4. Don't start me on this!!!

    Just take a look at the new restrictions on the residents of the borough who drive commercial vehicles. Only allowed to access the site Mon - Sat, 10am - 2pm, height restriction meaning anyone with a Ford Transit or similar size with roof bars can not use the site at all.

    Like everyone else I pay my council tax for services like this and because I only have a van I am left with no possible means of disposing of anything that the dustman won't take.

    This is ultimately result in is more fly-tipping which will no doubt cost much more to clear up. Short sighted in these times of supposedly supporting small businesses (self employed myself) and encouraging people to recycle more! Cracking move Solihull Council!!