THE sole representative of a political party on a council has overcome the odds to get a hat-trick of community schemes approved, despite the authority’s leaders raising concerns the latest could be a waste of taxpayers’ money.

Recycling facilities will be installed at the heart of Richmondshire district’s main tourist areas following Opposition councillor Clive World’s motion’s narrow 13-12 victory in a vote at a full meeting of Richmondshire District Council.

For opposition councillors getting such an initiative passed is rare, but the decision marks the third in three months for Councillor World.

October saw the Liberal Democrat member’s motion to scrap “morally wrong” charges for interments of children approved, and his call to install bird-proof litter bins in town centres in November was also passed.

Cllr World told the meeting he wanted to see recycling opportunities at the centre of Richmond, Middleham, Leyburn, Hawes and Reeth, and anywhere else appropriate.

He said: “You go to other places throughout the country and there are clear signs. We should be recycling more.”

Councillor Tony Duff, the authority’s operational services boss, said during a previous recycling trial in Richmond and Hawes the public had used the bins for standard litter and the waste had been sent for landfill.

He said recycling contaminated waste cost the authority £24 per tonne and would require a part-time member of staff and an extra vehicle to collect, leading to “considerable extra cost that would be unlikely to increase our recycling rate”.

He said: “We are constantly monitoring and reviewing our recycling procedures so I cannot see what more Councillor World wants.”

Cllr World told the meeting despite the trial’s failure, the council had a duty to keep trying. He said: “If there’s any graffiti it’s cleared immediately – we have to persevere.”

The meeting heard several councillors state installing recycling facilities would send an important message to visitors.

Councillor Helen Grant said: “I don’t think anybody in this room should turn their nose up at being able to recycle. We have all seen the effects of plastics and other things on our rivers, so any small measure we can do should be supported to the nth degree.”

But the council’s leader, Councillor Yvonne Peacock, and deputy leader, Councillor Ian Threlfall said while people were becoming increasingly keen on recycling, it would be “wrong to immediately go off and start doing this” without officers examining the issue in detail and offering assurances that the initiative would work.

Following the councillors’ decision, the authority’s scrutiny committee is set to examine possible locations for the recycling facilities.