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LABOUR councillors are calling for an end to the blanket shutdown of Renfrewshire's recycling tips in response to growing numbers of complaints from residents.

Group leader Eddie Devine said he and his colleagues will be requesting the area’s five amenity sites be opened in a phased manner to give those living in flats a chance to dispose of bulk waste they do not have space for.

Council leader Iain Nicolson recently told elected members he suspected this would be the route the council goes down but officers have consistently said they are following national guidelines on when and how the sites can be opened safely.

Amenity sites in Johnstone, Linwood, Erskine, Paisley and Renfrew were all closed as part of measures to slow the spread of Covid-19 but fears of a major spike in fly-tipping have led to more and more residents calling for an end to the indefinite shutdown.

Councillor Devine said: “To date, the Labour group on Renfrewshire Council have constructively supported the virus lockdown guidelines of the UK and Scottish governments.

“That co-operation will continue. However, based on consistent concerns of our constituents regarding increasing fly-tipping creating environmental health issues and similar views of fellow Cosla (Convention of Scottish Local Authorities) representatives, we feel the current blanket shutdown of local amenity sites should be reviewed.

“Residents in Renfrewshire have been extremely tolerant, given the unprecedented circumstances. Many are storing their excessive household refuse while waiting for our sites to reopen.

“However, a number of our constituents live in tenements and flats with limited space. We are now calling for a phased approach in opening Renfrewshire sites, taking account of employees and public safety, which must be paramount.

“We would also like to put on record our sincere thanks to all those workers who, on a daily basis, put their lives and that of their families at risk in delivering our much-valued services.”

The council has said it is working closely with Cosla and the Scottish Government on a plan to reopen sites at the earliest opportunity and has reminded people that staff are still running a full recycling collection service.

Read all the latest from Renfrewshire and beyond