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Monday, July 26, 2021

Plan for local people to use Plas Madoc tip to be raised again with Welsh government

* The household waste recycling site at Plas Madoc.

Llangollen's lack of a permanent local waste recycling facility is to be taken up again with the Welsh Government, according to a local campaigner.

Phil Jones has been promoting the idea of Denbighshire striking a deal with neighbouring Wrexham for Dee Valley residents to be able to use its household waste recycling centre at Plas Madoc.

This, he says, would overcome the problem of local people having to use a pop-up facility at the Pavilion or travel over to Ruthin to use the tip there.

Mr Jones organised a petition in favour of striking a deal with Wrexham which has attracted around 900 signatures.

He has provided regular updates on his campaign to llanblogger and in the latest of these he says: "started a campaign to establish access to the Plas Madoc recycling site for residents of the Dee Valley when I was told by County Councillor Mel Mile that there was ‘no appetite’ to do a deal with Wrexham CBC for a service level agreement between the two authorities. 

"Hearing this I wrote to Hannah Blythyn, the Welsh Minister responsible for waste. She in turn contacted the Chief Executive of Denbighshire CC and was assured that cross border co-operation in the efficient use of property assets (like modern recycling facilities) in line with Welsh Government policy on asset management, was underway.

"Of course we are in a pandemic, so negotiations take more time. Well, roughly one year later I have now received an email from Tony Ward, the DCC officer responsible for the waste service. 

"He tells me that the cost of paying for a service at Plas Madoc is not affordable. You might find this somewhat surprising, in that the quantity of waste is the same for both authorities and therefore one might assume that the savings made by a reduction in volumes for Denbighshire would roughly correspond to the costs incurred in asking our neighbouring authority to process the waste. 

"Apparently not; Mr. Ward tells me that the costs of processing waste deposited at the Pavilion pop-up is £7.26 per booking whereas, the equivalent charge per booking required by Wrexham CBC equates to £41.67. Why such a difference I wonder?

"I will now be seeking clarification on how these costings have been calculated. Local authorities are expected to collaborate in the utilisation of expertise and resources so that efficiency savings can be made in the delivery of services. So, over-charging for services or under accounting for costs is not compatible with this ethos."

He added: "The Welsh Government wants us to be a world leader in recycling and we are bombarded with press releases telling us how well we are doing. Yet, if you live in the Dee Valley be ready to drive 30 miles if you can’t make it to the pavilion pop-up. 

"Instead of solving a problem Denbighshire CC has created another layer of bureaucratic costs discouraging recycling with a booking system and limiting access to a few days a month. 

"We know that DCC spends far more per head of population on waste services in the north of the county but 13 years after closing our recycling site without consultation we still have a second class service. 

"Mr Ward tells me “there is therefore no plan to continue discussions about this with WCBC”. Well, for the 900 people who signed our petition, yet another fob-off is not acceptable.

"Thank-you for your continued support. We now know that our elected county councillors have never supported our campaign for access to Plas Madoc despite over 900 people signing our petition.

"If you feel unhappy about this you could write to them to say so, at:

"We will now take up this issue again with the Welsh Government and be asking if their policies regarding recycling and asset management are being applied effectively in North Wales. 

"Are our public servants just ‘talking the talk’ and not really ‘walking the walk’ when it comes to recycling?"

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