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Leicestershire's rubbish tip hours to be cut to save cash

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County Hall is looking to save hundreds of thousands of pounds by cutting the opening hours of its rubbish tips and recycling centres. Leicestershire County Council runs 14 sites which are currently open seven days a week, from 8am to 8pm in the summer and 8am to 6pm in the winter. Those hours are likely to be reduced in a move to cut costs. At the moment the Tory-run county council spends £3.9 million a year running sites at Barwell, Bottesford, Coalville, Kibworth, Loughborough, Lount, Lutterworth, Market Harborough, Melton, Mountsorrel, Oadby, Shepshed, Somerby and Whetstone. It wants to save £300,000 from that budget. Options to cut costs include opening at 9am instead of 8am, closing at 6pm in the summer instead of 8pm and closing at 4pm in the winter, instead of 6pm. Another option is closing a site for one day per week. The opposition Liberal Democrats say and reduction in hours will add to illegal tipping which is expensive to clear. People can have their say on the proposals through an online survey on the council's website, for six weeks from June 24. There will also be three weeks of face-to-face surveys that will take place at sites from July 1 onwards. Oadby's Liberal Democrat county councillor Jeff Kaufman said: "I think cutting opening hours would be penny wise but pound foolish. "It will lead to increased fly-tipping and illegal dumping. There will be costs associated with cleaning up that will be met by the district councils rather than the county council but in the end it is still the tax-payer who loses out. Any saving will be negated by the cost of dealing with illegal tipping. "I hope the district will be properly consulted." County Hall's cabinet member for waste Blake Pain said: "Leicestershire has an excellent recycling and household waste service, which contributes towards the achievement of our record as the second best county for recycling. "However, at a time when the council has to save £100 million and consider new ways of delivering services, we have to look at reducing opening hours. "I'd encourage people to complete this survey, so we build up a picture of the most popular opening times to guide our decision." The outcome of the consultation will be reported to the council's cabinet in September and it is expected that new opening times would be introduced in November this year. The online survey will be available at http://www.leics.gov.uk/index/environment/waste/recycling_sites_and_permits/recycling_household_waste_sites.htm

Leicestershire's rubbish tip hours to be cut to save cash


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