West Lothian Council’s minority Labour administration has reversed its controversial cuts to opening hours at recycling centres to push through its budget.

The cuts to recycling centre hours were widely blamed behind a steep rise in fly-tipping incidents across the county.

Full time opening hours at recycling centres, and grass cutting on sports pitches will be reinstated, and there was support given to improving operating standards at the Linlithgow and Broxburn Recycling Centres, and maintenance at cemeteries.

Over £800,000 was earmarked for investment in climate change projects.

Labour Council leader Councillor Lawrence Fitzpatrick told a special meeting of the full council on Friday morning the administration “had listened” to public concern, and colleagues.

The council heard at 4pm on Thursday afternoon that Holyrood was making extra funds available for local authorities – paying up the £95m the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) had said the Scottish councils were short. West Lothian’s share of this is just over £3m.

An amendment budget by the SNP called for more reserves to be spent alleviating poverty. The amendment  said “political leadership was needed” to give the people of West Lothian “a break from constant increases”.

Despite concerns raised Labour’s budget was passed by 20 votes to 12. As such, Council tax will increase by 4.84 per cent. The increase across all eight bands will generate estimated additional income of more than £5m.

 

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