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North Hampshire residents could be forced to pay to use Newbury tip

Hampshire County Council may stop payments to West Berkshire Council

Jonathan Ashby

Jonathan Ashby

jonathan.ashby@newburynews.co.uk

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01635 886637

Waste war rumbles on as West Berkshire permit scheme revealed

NORTH Hampshire residents could soon be forced to travel to Basingstoke to visit a tip – or foot the bill to continue to use West Berkshire sites.

Currently, Hampshire County Council (HCC) pays £175,000 annually to West Berkshire Council to allow 5,000 Hampshire households who are more than 10 miles from their nearest Hampshire tip to use the Newbury Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) on Newtown Road.

However, this could all be about to change, as HCC considers whether to continue paying the fee – instead placing the burden on Hampshire residents to pay if they wish to continue using West Berkshire tips.

The recommendation will be considered by executive member for economy, transport and environment Rob Humby on Thursday.

Mr Humby said: “The cost of dealing with household waste and running our HWRC network is significant and we need to look carefully at all our costs to ensure value for money for all of Hampshire’s council taxpayers.

“We’ve analysed the costs of paying West Berkshire Council over the past years we’ve run this transitional permit scheme for a small group of residents in North East Hampshire, allowing them to access West Berkshire Council’s HWRC in Newbury, at no cost to themselves.

“But the costs involved mean that effectively every household in Hampshire is subsidising this arrangement.

“We need to carefully consider if it is the right thing to do to continue to subsidise a service for residents in one part of the county at the expense of everyone else.”

The development is the latest in a long-running dispute between the councils over allowing North Hampshire residents to visit West Berkshire tips.

Historically, HCC has made a payment to WBC to allow some of its residents to use the Newtown Road facility.

In 2015 Hants stopped the payments after adopting a new strategy for cross-border HWRC use, but a transitional arrangement was introduced for an initial one year period with 5,000 North Hampshire households receiving a free permit.

The agreement has saved many North Hampshire residents from a 20-mile round trip to their nearest HWRC, but the scheme is now at risk as HCC looks to cut costs.

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