HAMPSHIRE County Council has adopted a zero tolerance approach to fly-tipping, with fines of up to £5,000 in the offing for those who dump waste.
The move follows the introduction of a controversial permit scheme, effective from last Monday at West Berkshire’s household waste recycling centres, which excludes Hampshire residents.
This means those people living in many Hampshire villages close to the border, including Newtown, Burghclere, Highclere and Woolton Hill, will have to make a journey of 15 miles to Basingstoke, to the nearest alternative Hampshire waste recycling centre.
Prior to the introduction of the permits by West Berkshire Council, Hampshire county councillor, Tom Thacker, (Con, Whitchurch and Clere), said he feared fly-tipping would result in the North Hampshire countryside:
He said: “I believe that the distance from parts of my division to the nearest recycling centre, either in Basingstoke or Andover, will make the choice between making the journey, or dumping in country lanes more marginal than if they were to be able to continue to use the south Newbury site.
“So, unless more is to be spent on policing fly-tipping, I believe that Hampshire and West Berks should be making every effort to work together to allow local Hampshire residents to use the Newbury facilities.”
The county council has since revealed a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to fly-tipping following a workshop involving the police, district councils, national park authorities and other rural interest groups.
County councillor Rob Humby, executive member for environment and transport, said: “Fly-tipping is illegal, damaging to the environment and totally unacceptable.
“I’ve lived in Hampshire all my life – it’s a beautiful and unique part of the world and I would like to help keep it that way.”
Measures to increase prosecutions, improve recording and reporting, and ways to ensure people understand their own responsibilities when disposing of waste topped the workshop agenda.
Pointing out fly-tipping was a huge drain on public resources, Mr Humby said: “Fly-tipping brings with it a cost to all of us through our council tax, whether collecting it, disposing of it or enforcing the law.”
Failure to ensure waste was correctly disposed could result in a fine of up to £5,000.
Do you have a story, or photograph, about fly-tipping in North Hampshire? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.