THE council is set to reduce the operating hours of the only waste recycling centre in the town.

From May 8, the Household Waste Recycling Centre, located in the Cheney Manor Industrial Estate, will reduce its opening hours in an effort to save £96,000.

It comes after recent reports of fly tipping at the Orbital Centre and by the Haydon Centre following the council’s decision to remove two ‘Bring’ sites earlier than originally planned.

Now the reduction in the Cheney Manor site’s opening hours has fuelled fears of more incidents of fly tipping.

Linda Brown, chairman of Haydon Wick Parish Council, said: “I don’t know why things have to be made more difficult for people. To reduce accessibility at the centre is just outrageous. How are those people who work supposed to get to the tip?”

The site is currently open Monday to Sunday, 6am to 8pm, from April 1 to October 31 and Monday to Sunday, 8am to 4.30pm during the winter months.

After the changes the site will be open Monday to Sunday, 8am to 5pm, from April 1 to October 31 and Monday to Sunday, 8am to 4pm, for the rest of the year.

During the summer months, Thursdays will see the site open until 8pm and it will be closed all day on Wednesday throughout the year.

Linda said: “The likelihood that we will see more instances of fly tipping, not just in Haydon Wick but all over the town, will definitely be increased.”

It is proposed to implement the change in hours from May 8 to allow for the known peak in Easter and the first May bank holiday to pass.

A Swindon Borough Council spokesman said: “The decision to reduce the hours at the Household Waste Recycling Centre was taken after analysing the usage patterns of those that visit the site.

“The number of people accessing the centre first thing in the morning and in the evening is less than during the day, while Wednesday is traditionally the quietest day for people visiting it.

“The changes have been brought in following a number of improvements to the site which allow residents and traders to drop off their waste and recycling far quicker than in the past. This includes having a dedicated lane for traders, removing them from residents dropping off household waste and recycling.

“We do not believe the new opening hours will result in a material change in the behaviour of current site users as we believe a good proportion of the fly-tipping that takes place in the borough is from people and contractors who have no intention of using the HWRC.

“Our EnviroCrime team will be working closely with all parish councils to tackle any fly-tipping in Swindon and we would urge residents who may see this happening to contact us as we will prosecute those responsible.”