10 December 2010

Credit where credit is due

Just recently I've been looking at some aspects of the cuts proposed by Somerset County Council and the issue of the closure of Household Waste Recycling Centres features high in County's considerations. 4 HWRCs are currently proposed for closure and the logic of the choices (Dulverton, Coleford, Middlezoy and Crewkerne) is driven, in part, by the catchment area of the HWRCs ie the number of households that they serve.

Although I don't have definitive information on Somerton, Somerton's existing HWRC isn't at the top of County's list when it comes to number of visits or tonnage processed and this makes me wonder about the very dubious logic of the aborted Badger's Cross HWRC project.

If I could see that the Badger's Cross project had addressed some pressing need then I could understand why that project went so far. But the fact is that even in SWP's calculations, there were other sites more deserving of investment before Somerton.

And now we see the hard-nosed view being taken by County and Somerton's existing HWRC isn't so far up the league table that it might not be considered for closure at some future time. (I stress that I don't have definitive information and I am unaware of Somerton being considered for closure.)

So its worthwhile taking a moment to consider what might have happened if the old Somerton Town Council had waved the Badger's Cross scheme through. The project would probably have been signed and sealed some time ago and we might now be facing a situation where a glossy new HWRC was being constructed at Badger's Cross at the same time that County was deciding to close it because it enjoyed no pressing justification.

So I'd like to thank the residents of Badger's Cross for saving the taxpayer a bundle of money, money which, today, is available to maintain other services. The residents of Badger's Cross deserve a big 'thank you'.

Till next time, I'm still Niall Connolly