Dudley residents banned from using Bilston tip as councils fall out over money

Dudley residents have been banned from using a tip after a finance row broke out between councils.

Residents in Dudley will not be able to use the tip in Anchor Lane, Bilston
Residents in Dudley will not be able to use the tip in Anchor Lane, Bilston

From Thursday people with a DY postcode will be turned away from the Anchor Lane Recycling Centre in Bilston, which had been one of only two tips open to residents in the borough.

Conservative-led Dudley Council had paid Labour-led Wolverhampton Council an annual fee for use of the tip but the deal has now collapsed after Wolverhampton Council asked for 65 per cent more money.

The Bilston tip was the site of huge queues when it reopened last May after the first lockdown, with drivers facing a four-hour wait to get in.

It means people living in Dudley now only have access to one tip in the borough - the household waste recycling centre in Stourbridge - with residents in the Coseley area facing a 30-minute drive to dispose of rubbish.

Opening hours are to be extended by two hours in Stourbridge in a bid to cope with the extra demand but appointments all need to be booked.

Heidi Marsh-Geyton, acting director of public realm at Dudley Council, said: “The agreement has been in place for many years but following a big increase in the annual charge we have had to end that agreement.

"We have offered to increase our fee on a number of occasions, but this has been declined.

“It is really important we maintain a balance between providing first class, convenient services and facilities for residents while also providing value for money.

“We are extremely disappointed and we have not taken this decision lightly, as we know this change will cause inconvenience for people who are used to using the Anchor Lane site. But I would urge them to use the facilities at Stourbridge instead.”

Mark Taylor, deputy chief executive at Wolverhampton Council, said: “From April 1 Dudley residents can no longer use Anchor Lane tip in Bilston. This is because an existing agreement between City of Wolverhampton Council and Dudley Council has come to an end.

“We asked that Dudley Council pay a fair and proportionate share of the actual running costs for Anchor Lane.

"We have been in discussions with colleagues in Dudley for more than a year and have unfortunately not been able to come to a fair agreement.

"The facts are:

  • The site costs more than £1m a year to run

  • Dudley residents account for at least 32 per cent of visitors to the site – this was established working with Dudley colleagues

  • As a result, we asked Dudley to pay 32 per cent of current running costs – £333,000 – not the £200,000 as per the previous agreement

  • Wolverhampton taxpayers are therefore subsidising Dudley residents using the site at a cost of £133,000 a year

  • The fees paid to us have not increased in more than a decade, since 2008/2009

“While it is regrettable that the agreement has come to an end, the council has to ensure that Wolverhampton residents are not left out of pocket – hence the review and request for Dudley to cover their costs and increase our charges.

“We are happy to continue discussions with colleagues at Dudley Council provided they are willing to pay their fair share of 32 per cent of Anchor Lane operating costs.

“We remind Wolverhampton residents visiting Anchor Lane and Shaw Road to bring along two forms of ID to show you live in the city.

“Finally, we expect the tips to be very busy over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend and residents may face lengthy queues if visiting the sites this weekend. We remind residents that both sites are open seven days a week for your convenience."

The centre will be open 8am to 4pm every day, including weekends and bank holidays, until April 6 when it will open until 6pm each weekday. The closing time on weekends will stay at 4pm.

Council bosses say the new opening hours will allow an extra 1,000 cars in per week.

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