Anger after Sheffield petition removed

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A PETITION by staff protesting about plans to cut opening hours at Sheffield recycling centres was removed by management.

Signatures were being collected from members of the public on a petition at Beighton Household Waste Recycling Centre.

Sheffield Council is proposing a cut to opening times, so most sites are open only four days a week instead of the current seven.

Staff and unions oppose the move due to job losses, and say the sites could be made profitable by the council keeping more income from sale of recyclable materials - much of which is currently kept by a subcontractor.

Sheffield Council’s waste contractor Veolia uses another firm to run the five sites.

One resident who uses the Beighton site regularly said: “I was told the petition had been removed on the instruction of Veolia Waste Management senior staff.

“I find this inappropriate and non-democratic to all service users of the sites.”

Coun Ian Auckland, opposition Lib Dem shadow cabinet member for transport and environment, said: “It’s only fair staff are allowed their say on important proposals.”

A Veolia Environmental Services spokeswoman said: “We removed the petition for safety reasons because of the volume of traffic around our sites.

“If residents wish to raise concerns around the proposed reduction in opening times, they can contact us or the council direct.”

■ Sheffield Council has denied rumours that reduced hours at household waste recycling centres are to start on June 3.

A spokesman said: “A date has not been set for any changes to the opening times yet. It has been agreed to delay any changes until June to allow for negotiations on the proposals to take place with staff.”