NORTH Hampshire villagers promised temporary permits would be sent out before Christmas to use a waste recycling facility situated just over the county border, have seen them start to arrive in the new year, after a further delay.
For the last three months, residents living in North Hampshire, close to the county border, have been unable to use West Berkshire recycling centres situated in Newtown Road, Newbury and at Padworth.
They were excluded from a permit scheme at West Berkshire’s Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC), effective at the end of September, forcing them to make a 15-mile trip to the Hampshire facility, at Wade Road, Basingstoke,
Outraged North Hampshire councillors and villagers had since pressed for permits to use the HWRCs in West Berkshire.
Before Christmas, Hampshire County Council had confirmed the permits would be sent out from Tuesday, December 20.
However a further county council statement revealed that, in spite of the council’s best efforts, the issue of the permits had been further delayed until early January.
Hampshire county councillor Rob Humby, executive member for environment and transport, said: “We are sorry that last-minute problems at the printers have delayed residents receiving their permits and sincerely apologise for the inconvenience this short delay may cause.
“I am pleased that residents will soon receive their permits and can then benefit from the transitional arrangement that we have agreed with West Berkshire, so that those living furthest away from a Hampshire site can access a recycling facility nearer to where they live.
“I am extremely grateful to our colleagues at West Berkshire for working with us on this arrangement.”
The move comes after discussions between the county council and neighbouring West Berkshire Council.
It was agreed Hampshire residents who live more than 10 miles away from a Hampshire site would be issued with permits to access the site at Newtown Road for a transitional 12-month period.
West Berks introduced the September ban after Hampshire’s withdrawal of a £200,000 payment to WBC for Hampshire residents’ use of the recycling centres.
Now it is likely Hampshire will receive an unexpected and unspecified total bill for the issue of the temporary permits.
Hampshire county councillor Tom Thacker (Con, Whitchurch and Clere), previously said that villagers in North Hampshire would not face an additional charge for the permits.
However, he said the county council was pressing for cross-border charges, where residents of one authority can be charged for using the facilities of another.
“At present this is not allowed and, in my view, has made finding a solution harder than necessary,” said Mr Thacker.
Meanwhile, incidents of fly-tipping have continued across North Hampshire, including at Headley Ford, Thornford Road.
Tadley borough councillor Mike Bound (Lib Dem, Baughurst and Tadley North) has also slammed the lack of recycling facilities in the Tadley area following the closure of Paices Hill, Aldermaston, several years ago.