Thu, 30 Jul 2020
NORTH Hampshire residents will be able to continue using the Newbury tip after county and borough councils combined to extend the permit scheme for another year.
Hampshire County Council (HCC) and Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council (BDBC) joined forces to each pay West Berkshire Council £85,000, granting thousands of North Hampshire households continued access to the Newtown Road site.
The county council has also decided to conduct a feasibility study into creating a household waste recycling centre (HWRC) in Kingsclere, which would give the 5,000 North Hampshire households a local tip within the county border.
The decision will come as a huge relief to North Hampshire residents, many of whom were facing a 30-mile round trip to their nearest Hampshire recycling centre in either Basingstoke or Andover.
BDBC leader Ken Rhatigan said the borough council had acted “quickly and purposefully” to help the residents, but acknowledged that it was a short-term solution.
He said: “It’s a compromise.
“I’m delighted to have been able to recommend it to my cabinet as it’s something that is in line with our climate change emergency and for the betterment of services to our residents.
“Sometimes you have to think of the wider impact and the many thousands of miles which would be travelled in cars for residents to take their recycling to centres that are in some cases more than 40 miles away.
“We’re searching for long-term solutions – the benefit is that this is a short-term fix while we negotiate and sort out a long-term solution for the residents to make their lives better.
“The fact that the borough council has understood what the residents want and has been able to juggle our budget to be able to do it means we’ve reacted quickly and purposefully for our residents.
“I hope that we’ll get the benefit of the praise which I think should come to us for as being as flexible a council as we are.”
The final decision was made in a policy and resources meeting yesterday (Wednesday) morning by HCC leader Keith Mans.
Mr Mans said: “The main reason for extending this arrangement for another year – which is not ideal – is because of the pressure on the existing waste recycling centres in Hampshire generally as a result of the lockdown.
“Therefore I think it’s sensible that we extend it for a further year.
“I want to make it clear that this is a transitional arrangement.
“I’d much prefer to have an arrangement with all the surrounding counties to ensure that the public have the ability to go cross-border, although if they go into another county they may well be charged.
“Ultimately what we have to do is work collectively with all our surrounding counties to ensure that the public get the service they should have.
“As part of this decision, we’re also looking at the possibility of finding an additional site closer to the border with West Berkshire, and who knows, as a result of that, there might be more West Berkshire residents who wish to use our site.