Council chief blasts Wolverhampton authority after access to Anchor Lane site is revoked

The leader of Dudley Council has criticised officers at the City of Wolverhampton Council for failing to negotiate with their Black Country counterparts to secure ongoing use of Anchor Lane tip after April 1.

For a number of year's, residents in Dudley borough - particularly those living in Coseley - have been able to use the Anchor Lane site, which is owned and run by the City of Wolverhampton Council. Dudley Council paid an annual fee to give residents access, but a request in recent weeks to increase this fee by 65% left the council with no alternative but to end the agreement.

Speaking to Ian Marrey on Black Country Radio on Saturday morning, Cllr Patrick Harley hit out at the neighbouring authority, claiming they chose not to negotiate the rise in costs with officers at his authority. Cllr Harley said:

"Had we known that [the City of Wolverhampton Council] wanted such a huge increase and to tie us in for a five year deal, with no guarantee that costs wouldn't increase over that period, we'd have made plans in our recent budget that was passed on March 1st.

"But when you have one party who isn't prepared to negotiate and issues you with an ultimatum, with just a couple of days notice, then that is completely and utterly unreasonable. We'd be prepared to sit down and negotiate, but the City of Wolverhampton Council seemingly aren't.

"Some of their actions were incredibly petty. Dudley Council officers arrived on site on Wednesday and Thursday to advise Dudley residents of the changes, and to direct them to Stourbridge. When they wanted to use the toilet, they were refused access to do so.

"Staff wouldn't initially hand out fliers advising our residents where to take their rubbish to - although this decision has now been overturned."

However a number of local residents who live near the Anchor Lance site took to social media to voice their concerns. Dudley North MP, Marco Longhi spoke out in support of his constituents, many of whom live a distance away from the site in Stourbridge. He pointed out that the move could have a negative impact on local fly-tipping and joined the criticism of the City of Wolverhampton Council, branding their decision as 'short notice' and 'disgraceful'.

Cllr Harley added that the next step would be to try and negotiate a deal with other Black Country councils and suggested a deal could be finalised soon with Sandwell Council to give residents weekday access to the tip at Oldbury. However he also intimated that he was still open to striking a deal with colleagues in Wolverhampton. He added:

"This doesn't mean we can't still try and get our colleagues in Wolverhampton sitting round a table. It's ridiculous how they've treated Dudley residents but as long as people are prepared to sit down and talk, there's always ample opportunity to negotiate. 

Details for access to the facility in Stourbridge can be found at dudley.gov.uk.

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