Recycling disaster

In his recent update on council finances, our district council leader glossed over several serious problems but failed to mention the council’s main disaster area – recycling.

In March 2010 the Gazette carried a piece by the then leader Des Brailey recording that although the project was heavily overspent, by more than a million pounds, ‘I am convinced that it will more than pay for itself in the fullness of time’.

Sadly the point of good or any returns has long since passed. Mr Brailey must be very relieved that the recycling hot potato was retained by Rodney Cann, when he jumped ship and joined the ruling executive as an independent with responsibility for recycling services.

At a time when capital is sorely needed for urgent projects, all parties must grieve for the six, seven or was it eight million pounds, wasted on the ongoing disaster area which is recycling.

The latest financial report shows budget shortfalls of about £200,000 in sales of recycled material and a similar shortfall in trade services income.


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South Molton Recycling was doing a sterling job at no capital cost before the council took the service in-house against strong objections from the overview and scrutiny committee.

The council has spent millions to drop itself in a financial and operational quagmire which must rate as the worst decision taken since the district council was imposed on us in 1974.

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What a shame the move to a unitary authority was aborted.

Tony Martin

South Molton

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