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School waste campaign gathers pace
1:22pm Friday 30th May 2014 in News
A CAMPAIGN to save primary schools throwing money away paying expensive waste charges is gathering pace after 20 schools gave it their backing.
As previously reported, county councillor Paul Hodgkinson, who represents Bourton and Northleach, says that it is not right all primary schools in the Cotswolds are classed as 'businesses' and have to pay for their waste to be collected by private contractors.
He has called for primary schools to be included in Cotswold District Council's waste collection service and so far 20 out of 44 schools including Willersey, Ebrington, Bourton and Temple Guiting have given their support.
The district council has previously said it cannot simply collect school waste during residential collections but following a motion put to the council by Cllr Hodgkinson, it will now been deferred to a Cabinet meeting.
"I'm absolutely delighted," he said. "We've got half of the Cotswold primary schools now backing the campaign, I'm delighted with that.
"I think most schools see this as a way of them focussing their very tight budgets on eduction rather than paying for something most people would be surprised to hear they pay for.
"The initial reaction of the council was negative but having pushed hard I'm pleased the council is being a bit more flexible now.
"I'm hopeful we can get somewhere with this and get something back in the school's coffers rather than it going to pay for bin collections."
Cllr Hodgkinson will now be meeting with selected school heads and governors along with CDC officers next month to see whether the council can back his campaign.
Speaking at the meeting earlier this month, council leader Councillor Lynden Stowe said: "I do have sympathy with the economic situation faced by schools but I would point out they make provision for waste collection services along with many other services.
"It is too simplistic to suggest the domestic waste lorries can simply collect and then dispose of schools waste as this would have operational, legal and financial implications."
The question of waste collection for schools was passed to the Gloucestershire Joint Waste Committee and Joint Waste Team which has written a report on the issue.
Its findings will be discussed in an upcoming meeting between a governor of North Cerney School, Jenny Forde who is supporting the motion and council members, officers and cabinet member, Councillor David Fowles before going to the cabinet.
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