HAMPSHIRE residents are waiting to see if they will once again be allowed into West Berkshire’s rubbish dumps.
Despite claims an agreement had been reached, West Berkshire Council and Hampshire County Council say they are still in discussions over a deal to solve the long-running dispute.
North Hants residents were angered by the introduction of a permit system in September to limit the use of the Newtown Road and Padworth recycling facilities to West Berkshire residents only.
The move was introduced after Hampshire County Council withdrew £200,000 of funding to cover the cost of disposing of waste from Hampshire.
However, the ban means residents in Hampshire parishes such as Newtown and Burghclere now face a 15-mile drive to Basingstoke or Andover to dispose of their waste.
Earlier this month, North West Hampshire MP Kit Malthouse claimed a deal had been struck to issue more permits to those residents in the north of the county.
But this week West Berkshire Council said discussions were still ongoing, with the cash-strapped local authority refusing to strike a deal that would leave it “out of pocket”.
Speaking to the Newbury Weekly News, West Berkshire Council’s executive portfolio holder for environment, Dominic Boeck, said an offer had been put to Hampshire County Council.
He said: “If there’s any confusion in regards to Mr Malthouse, I don’t where that stems from.
“We have been dealing directly with Hampshire County Council.
“There’s a discussion going on between our officers and their officers; we have made a proposal and we are waiting to hear back from them.
He added: “The key for us is it has to cover West Berkshire for the cost that we bear to dispose of waste from Hampshire.
“The ball is in their court, they are the ones who are trying to solve their problem.
“We will do everything we can to reach an agreement, but we are not going to agree to anything that will put us out of pocket.”
Executive member for environment and transport at Hampshire County Council, Rob Humby, said: “I can confirm we have recently received proposals from West Berkshire which indicate they would be willing to put a scheme in place by the end of year, and we will be looking to finalising these details with them this week.”
Mr Boeck denied that issuing permits to Hampshire residents would then render the introduction of the permit scheme pointless.
He also said that changes to the scheme would be made to allow those using commercial vehicles easier access to the recycling centres after a number of residents have complained after being turned away.
West Berkshire’s recycling facilities do not accept trade waste and, as such, those using commercial vehicles, including taxis, have been denied access to the site.
However Mr Boeck said that residents whose only vehicle is classed as commercial can apply for temporary day passes to be used up to six times a year.