A petition calling on Pembrokeshire County Council to avoid a potential closure of a waste recycling centre as part of measures to balance its budgets has gained more than 1,300 signatures to date.

A council tax increase of 16.3 per cent was backed by members of PCC’s Cabinet earlier this month, with members receiving a raft of potential costs savings to the council, including a ‘red’ less-favoured option to close St Davids waste recycling centre, netting some £25,000, and later £60,000 due to associated fixed costs.

The actual decision on the 2024/25 budget – and associated council tax rate and budget savings – will be decided by full council on March 7.

The fear of a potential closure has led to a change.org petition started by Richard Davies, which said: “This site is not just a waste disposal facility; it’s an integral part of our community. The potential closure threatens to disrupt this harmony and bring about negative consequences.

“The primary concern is environmental degradation. Without a local amenity site, people may resort to fly-tipping – illegal dumping of waste in unauthorized areas – which has been on the rise across the UK (source: Keep Britain Tidy). This not only spoils our beautiful landscapes but also poses serious risks to local wildlife and ecosystems.

“Additionally, closing down St Davids Civic Amenity Site could lead to job losses for those employed there. In an area where every job counts, this could have significant impacts on families and livelihoods.

“Lastly, let’s not forget that this site serves as a hub for recycling efforts in our community. Its closure would be a step back from our commitment towards sustainable living and environmental responsibility.

“We urge Pembrokeshire County Council to reconsider their decision and keep St Davids Civic Amenity Site operational for its invaluable contributions towards environment protection and community wellbeing.”

The Cabinet report on the red option to close St Davids stated closure could have a “potential adverse impact on fly tipping/ local environment quality and council recycling performance – St Davids provided 1.1 per cent of all recycling in 2021-22, potential fine is £140,000 for every one per cent target not achieved”.

It added: “This option was discounted in the 2021 WRC review and reduction in opening days and hours was selected as an alternative. Due to fixed costs element, savings would increase to £60,000 for full year effect once site closed and environmental permit surrendered.”