Somerby tip closure plans to go ahead

The Somerby waste and recycling site, which is set to close downThe Somerby waste and recycling site, which is set to close down
The Somerby waste and recycling site, which is set to close down
Two of Leicestershire’s under-threat waste and recycling sites have been saved from closure but Somerby’s tip will close down.

It was announced at a county council briefing this afternoon (Thursday) that the waste centres at Market Harborough and Shepshed will stay open following a public consultation.

New government funding to support the spiralling cost of social care has enabled funds to be set aside to keep the two sites operating.

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But the relatively low usage of the Somerby tip mean plans to close it will still go ahead, County Hall say.

Residents will be asked to travel to Melton’s Lake Terrace site instead.

Councillor Blake Pain, cabinet member for waste, told the Melton Times: “It is our proposal that we will shut the Somerby site.

“The consultation feedback strongly supported the continued opening of Shepshed and Harborough sites.

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“It’s recognised that the Somerby site generally has much less usage and it has a comparatively high cost to keep open.”

The county council will be receiving extra funding of around £5million for social care and that has allowed more of the budget to be made available for waste sites.

The authority’s cabinet will discuss the proposed budget next week, including plans to increase the county council’s share of Council Tax bills by three per cent from April to generate an extra £18million for frontline services.

There would be an investment of £129million more to meet growing demand, mainly in social care, and an extra £113million to cover inflation and the National Living Wage increase.

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It will involve balancing the books next year by using £6million of reserves – the first time this has been required - and a budget gap of £83million is forecast by 2028 after planned savings.

Council leader, Nick Rushton, said: “It’s good news that the government has listened to local government’s very real and pressing concerns, and we welcome the extra funding.

“It halves the reserves we need to use to balance the books next year. But it’s far from a sustainable solution and does nothing to help with the budget shortfall in later years.

“We remain a well-run council and have saved £262m since 2010 - but spiralling costs and service demands mean this is still the toughest budget we’ve ever faced.”