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North Hampshire residents to pay 'more for less' as council tax set to rise



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Parish councillors have once again vented their frustration at the current tip arrangement, with one saying North Hampshire residents would soon be paying “more for less”.

With Hampshire County Council facing an £80m black hole, council tax is expected to go up another 3.99 per cent for the forthcoming tax year – taking the amount paid to the county council for an average band D property up to around £1,400.

Despite this rise, North Hampshire residents continue to face either a 25-mile round trip to the household waste recycling centre in Andover or pay £7 to use the tip in Newtown Road in West Berkshire – a situation labelled “Hobson’s Choice” by Highclere Parish Council chairman Brad Norton.

The household waste recyling centre in Newtown Road.
The household waste recyling centre in Newtown Road.

At a parish council meeting last week, Mr Norton queried whether Highclere residents were essentially subsidising the rest of Hampshire residents by paying more in council tax than they received in services.

He said he had made a Freedom of Information request to councillor Rob Humby, the county council’s executive member for economy, transport and environment, on the matter but received no response.

Mr Norton said: “I look at this quite simplistically – how much do they get from Highclere residents and how much do they spend in Highclere?

“If there’s a surplus of the money they receive from the parish why can’t it go towards subsidising our trips to the HWRC?

“What’s the expenditure and what’s the income? I’d be very surprised if there’s a deficit.”

He added that with council tax set to rise again, the parish’s residents were set to pay “more for less”, and that there were many “disgruntled” residents.

The meeting was also attended by county councillor Tom Thacker (Whitchurch and the Cleres), who said there needed to be a regional or national solution which would allow residents to use whichever tip they wanted.

He said: “Hampshire County Council’s obligation is to provide a HWRC in Hampshire.

“If they wanted to do it to the minimum they could have set up a massive recycling centre in Winchester, but we’ve actually got at least 11 large ones around the county.

“The fact is we’ve lobbied Kit [Malthouse, the North West Hampshire MP] that we need to be able to have a regional or national solution which is funded, then Hampshire tax payers can travel to whichever HWRC is most convenient for them.”

Mr Norton said it wasn’t a closed matter with Highclere residents and would “rumble on and on”.

The debate came three weeks after East Woodhay parish councillors also voiced their frustration at the current arrangements, saying they felt they were paying twice to get rid of rubbish.



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