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'Extremely tough budget' forces county to consider closing recycling centres

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Buckinghamshire CC has started an eight week public consultation on the future of its 10 household recycling centres.

The council said in a statement that cost saving measures had become necessary due to the impact of “ongoing funding reductions in the public sector”.

Buckinghamshire CC member for planning and environment Bill Chapple (Con) described the consultation, which runs until October 22, as a “reluctant but necessary step”.

Cllr Chapple said: “We have an extremely tough budget to meet from April 2019 onwards and this means facing up to some difficult decisions.

“Looking at all the data available, the responses to our user surveys and what other councils do, and bearing in mind the views of residents at four focus groups we held in July, there are some preferred options that we are setting out in the consultation. Realistically, without these, we’re not going to get anywhere near our financial savings target.”

Buckinghamshire, which has a net revenue budget of about £336m in 2018-19, reported in February how it would have to contend with a £12.6m funding gap this year.

Among the options being offered in the consultation is the proposal to close at least one centre and to introduce closures at three other centres on days when they are less used.

On this latter proposal, the council is consulting on which two week days the public would prefer the sites closed in Burnham, Chesham and Aylesbury.

The county council cabinet is to make a decision on the consultation later in the year.

 

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