94% say 'Keep Everleigh Open' - so it closes.
Wiltshire Council Conservatives ran a public consultation from June to September this year on whether or not Everleigh Household Recycling Centre (HRC) should be closed. 94% of people said 'No'. The HRC will close.
The formal decision was made at the Cabinet meeting on October 9th, when Jane Scott's administration voted unanimously to close the service, despite strong representations from residents, parish councillors, and local Wiltshire councillors. The resolution was to:
"1.Note the results of the public consultation undertaken on the proposal to close Everleigh HRC
- Approve the closure as proposed."
"Note" being a nice euphemism for "ignore."
The public consultation got 1,300 individual responses. WC dismisses the people who responded, pointing out that many of them were old:
"Demographically the consultation sample is notable for the high proportion of older respondents, with 31% aged 65 and over. It is also of note that 10% state they have a disability."
The argument that the site was a valued service for residents was also conceded dismissively:
"The greatest number of responses - approximately one third of the total - suggest the site should remain open because it is local and convenient."
WC accepts that there will be more traffic on the roads as people drive to more distant HRCs, but says that's happening anyway:
"The council would acknowledge the impact of increasing numbers of vehicles on Wiltshire's roads. This is a national issue owing to a range of socio-demographic factors."
As for fly-tipping, again WC sheds responsibility, blaming any increase on improved reporting:
"To date, there has been little if any evidence of increased fly tipping as a direct consequence of council decisions on waste services. It is much easier to report such fly tipping now however."
Prior to closure Everleigh has been run down for several years, allowing the cost of maintenance to be used as an excuse. Everleigh was chosen because it has the lowest number of visits. The next lowest HRC on the list is Lower Compton.