Cllr. Mike Goodman
Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport
Surrey County Council
Kingston Upon Thames
Surrey KT1 2DW7
11 January 2019
Dear Cllr. Goodman,
Surrey’s Community Recycling Centres – Public Consultation
Thank you for the opportunity to respond to the proposal for changes to community recycling centres (CRCs). Woldingham Parish Council have considered the proposal to close Warlingham CRC and as in 2017, we oppose the proposal to close the Warlingham CRC until a safe and suitable alternative is established.
1. Capacity Issues
While we fully understand the cost pressures that Surrey County Council is under, the Warlingham Recycling Centre is a vital service used regularly by many Woldingham residents. The number of people that use it are considerable and given that those entering on foot are not counted in usage numbers, even greater than SCC currently registers. Capacity and on-site parking constraints mean many people park nearby and are not counted in those numbers.
Further and perhaps most importantly, given the capacity constraints and access problems with the Caterham CRC, we believe the closure of the Warlingham CRC will decrease an essential service, lead to increased fly tipping and will further exacerbate the Caterham CRC health and safety risks. We are firmly against the closure of the Warlingham CRC without a better solution in place. The Caterham CRC does not provide sufficient capacity for the communities it serves to deliver this solution.
2. Safety Issues
We acknowledge the access and safety issues with the Warlingham CRC, which is why we agree that it is not an ideal site. There is difficulty reaching it, unsafe queues form, and the site must be closed when emptying the receptacles as there is only one entrance to the site.
However, closure of the Warlingham CRC leads to increased health and safety concerns at the Caterham CRC. The Caterham CRC already suffers even worse health and safety risks than the Warlingham CRC. It is sited by a school, a medical facility, double yellow lines and a major bus route. It similarly has one access entrance and must be closed when the receptacles are emptied. Huge queues form blocking traffic and the busses. There are safety risks to pedestrians, to those accessing the medical facility and especially to children and parents accessing the school. The limited capacity and the unsafe closures mean many people take large items from cars into the site (again yielding vastly underrepresented usage numbers). Closing the Warlingham CRC would put additional capacity pressure on the Caterham CRC and threaten health and safety further. We are strongly opposed to the closure of the Warlingham CRC without a better solution already in place.
3. Establish Suitable Alternatives Before Closure
We appreciate that Caterham CRC could open one additional day per week to pick up some of the Warlingham CRC traffic. However, it is not sufficient capacity to serve Woldingham, Warlingham and surrounding communites. Because the Warlingham CRC capacity is needed to serve Woldingham and all the communities in Surrey accessing these sites, and because the dangerous situation at Caterham CRC must be abated rather than exacerbated, a suitable alternative should be sought. Ideally this should be a site outside highly urbanised areas, that would enable multiple entrances and continuous use, and thus deliver more capacity and better safety to serve Woldingham and its neighbours. We are aware of numerous possibilities, including sites on the A22 near the M25, which could fulfil these criteria.
Woldingham Parish Council are strongly opposed to the closure of the Warlingham CRC before any new solutions are in place. We believe a larger site outside any urbanisation is the best way to serve Woldingham and surrounding communities for all their CRC needs.