Little Stoke civic amenity site to begin closing on Wednesdays

Little Stoke Sort It! Centre

The Sort It! civic amenity site in Station Road, Little Stoke, is to begin closing on Wednesdays when new operating times come into force on 1st August.

The news was buried in the footnotes of a South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) press release titled “Improvements to Sort It! Centres” put out on Wednesday (26th July).

In common with other Sort It! sites in Mangotsfield, Yate and Thornbury, the Little Stoke site will benefit from extended opening hours between April and September, remaining open until 6:30pm, but whereas the other sites will continue to open seven days a week, Little Stoke will now be closed on Wednesdays throughout the year.

Over a whole year, the other three sites will see a 25% increase in opening hours but for Little Stoke the total yearly hours will remain more or less unchanged.

Council says Little Stoke mid-week closure will pay for longer hours at other sites

Challenged by The Journal over the seemingly geographically-biased decision, a SGC spokesperson said:

“The reason for closing a SORT IT!* Centre for one day is to help to pay for extended hours on all sites.”

“The reason why Stoke Gifford [Little Stoke] was chosen was that it is a small site, which already has a vehicle height restriction and trailer ban in place for health and safety reasons. Wednesday was also the obvious day to close the Stoke Gifford site as data analysis showed this to be the least busy day at this site.”

“When we met with the local members for Stoke Gifford earlier this year they agreed the extra hours more than compensated for the day closure.”

Asked for their views on the changes, Bradley Stoke South Glos Councillors Ben Walker, Brian Hopkinson, Sarah Pomfret, Robert Jones and John Ashe commented:

“The Wednesday closing is a trade off for longer hours on the other six days of the week. We would encourage local residents to let us know what they think of the new times and whether they prefer to have longer opening hours every day except Wednesdays or if they would rather revert back to the previous arrangement of Wednesday openings but shorter hours every day.”

“Of course, in an ideal world, we would want to see longer opening hours including on Wednesdays, but this is unrealistic in the current financial climate.”

No progress on building a replacement for the inadequate Little Stoke facility

SGC accepted in its 2008 Waste Strategy document that the Little Stoke site was providing an inadequate service for local residents, stating:

“A replacement Sort It! Centre for Stoke Gifford is needed to provide an appropriate service to the local population. The search for a suitable site continues and may not be completed until the Council’s Green Belt policy has been reviewed”

Asked about the progress made in the search for a replacement site, an SGC spokesperson told The Journal:

“The Council’s plans to identify alternative land on which to build a replacement Sort It! Centre for the Stoke Gifford area are still very much work in progress. Since 2005 the Council and SITA have carried out extensive searches on available land so far without success due to planning and highway restrictions. Until recently this project has been on hold pending the review of both Green Belt and other industrial sites to see what alternative and suitable land becomes available.”

“Securing land on which to build a new site is still a key objective of the council’s local waste strategy and is now incorporated in the Council’s Core Strategy document, policy CS27, relating to development East of Harry Stoke, which provides for a ‘waste transfer and recycling facility’. It is now hoped that with more housing developments being built that this will open up further opportunities and discussions with developers. However, even if we manage to identify suitable land going forwards, delivering a new site is still going to take several years to complete.”

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  1. Not too sure what the Ed is going on about here. This looks to be a non story, or a storm in a tea cup. For the sake of not being able to trot along during a working day< we will much appreciate being able to go along after work on Mon, Tues etc rather than s truggle with everyone else on Sunday mornings. Could the Ed tell us how many times he has used this facility on a Wednesday over the last year please? Well done SGC first bit of common sense for years!

  2. @Mini, I’m neutral on the re-arranged hours. The main point is that users of the Thornbury and Yate sites are getting 25% longer opening hours but those at Little Stoke are not.

    Extending your reasoning to Thornbury and Yate, shouldn’t they be closing on Wednesdays as well, with the cost savings used to reduce our Council Tax or save/improve some other service that is facing a cut?

  3. Ed, have you used either or any of the other sites? if you have you will know that they operate in a diffrent way, are much larger and have different facilities. We are so very lucky to have the site we have and the staff who man it. Let us leave it as it is and just all work to keep it going. I am sure we can both think of other economies to improve other services facing cuts.

  4. I agree with Ed on this one and don’t understand why MINI is complaining after all isn’t that the job of the journal to tell us whats happening in the community? I have used all these sites and they operate in a different way as they are larger and can also handle different facilities like Asbestos. Little Stoke has always been the Poor relation and this news just confirms that. SGC have been dragging their heals on finding a new site for six years now and we are supposed to just accept that because its a small site we get wednesday closing. There is a complete inbalance regarding sort it centres in the SGC council boundary and they need to act. Next thing it will be closing altogether. SGC had plenty of opportunities to find land for this and just smacks of awful planning. Bradley Stoke Town Councils response to this is complete nonsense, we want the same service as everyone else in South Glos we pay the same council tax. Stop coming out with the same excuses about ‘current financial climate’. Bradley Stoke Town Council is in danger of becoming the ‘YES’ men of SGC by agreeing with all SGC says without any actual benefit to the people of Bradley Stoke…..

  5. What a surprise (Not) Conservative councillors not prepared to criticise Tory run SGC for an obvious cut in services. Was anyone actually complaining about the opening hours? The 7 day a week service was a better deal and our councillors are failing to stand up for local residents. Is anyone surprised?

  6. Have to say I have previously complained about opening hours. Which was when the tip closed at Sunday lunch time. I have to say that later openings at weekends and for most days in the week is preferable to having the site open for 7 days a week.

    As far as service cuts are concerned…. Really? This is hardly a major issue.

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