TOWN councillors have called for action following a complaint about the 'dismal scene' at a recycling area in Cockermouth.

Many of them agreed the Sullart Street site was often a mess and collections needed to be done more regularly. They also called for a crunching service to be reinstated. It used to run in town but stopped when the pandemic hit and has not been reinstated.

Steve Dickinson wrote to the council. "We've just moved to Cockermouth and are concerned about the lack of suitable staffed recycling facilities in the town," he said.

"It's strange that small towns like Ambleside have such amenities whereas Cockermouth, a much larger town, doesn't.

"Making citizens drive with recycling items to Maryport or Workington isn't an appropriate option when there is so much pressure on the planet's resources and C02 levels are critical.

"It's particularly sad to find dismal scenes as I did at Sullart Street today, not a good advertisement for the town, its up-to-date facilities or Cockermouth's green aspirations."

Mayor Alan Smith told a recent town council meeting: "We used to have a crunch service on Windmill Lane estate. Since Covid they have ceased this altogether.

"We are not going to get an all-singing dancing recycle centre like at Maryport and Workington but I think we should get the reintroduction of the crunch service once a month."

Coun Isabel Burns said: "When I go to Sullart Street, half the times it's broken chairs, tables and plastic. It's a mess, even when the boxes you are supposed to put them in are not full, people just chuck stuff there."

"They are full a lot," said Coun Grace Bennion. "And also full of the wrong materials and there's lots of waste left around. It's really ugly, not a well-kept site.

"Could there not be more frequent collections?"

"A lot of this is fly tipping," said Coun Alan Kennon. "There's been a campaign about this in Allerdale at the moment, particularly in the Workington area. It's about time they started to fine people in Cockermouth too."

The crunch service was "very very well used" said Coun David Malloy. "It cannot be cost effective for them to send people to tidy this up as opposed to the cost of the crunch service."

It was agreed that the council write to Allerdale Borough Council, asking them to empty the site more frequently and ask them to reinstate the crunch service.