New charges will soon be imposed on Portsmouth residents as a result of Hampshire County Council changes to waste recycling services. Concerns have been raised by the city’s Labour Environment and Community Safety spokesperson.
From October 1, residents in Portsmouth will have to pay to leave soil and rubble, plasterboard and asbestos at the city’s Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) in Port Solent. This is a result of county council plans.
Proposals were discussed at the Cabinet Member for Environment and Community Safety decision-making meeting on Thursday 22 September.
Portsmouth Labour have criticised the decision to make any changes to the well-used facilities in the north of the city. Stephen Morgan is city councillor for Charles Dickens ward and Labour’s spokesperson for the environment and community safety. He joined others with concerns by calling the proposals a ‘tip tax’ on local people.
Further service changes include reducing opening hours at the Port Solent site by 2 hours per day. From January 2017, revised hours will be 11am-6pm in the summer and 11am-4pm in the Winter.
What’s more, the site will be closed altogether every Thursday.
Over the past two years, government statistics show that the problem of flytipping is getting worse with 90,000 case of flytipping in England alone last year.
Flytipping blights the environment in cities as well as the countryside. It also presents a potential danger to public health, and has a significant financial impact to local authorities who have to clear up the mess.
Cllr Stephen Morgan said:
“The county’s own decision making report recognises that these changes may lead directly to increased fly tipping. A better strategy is needed.
A number of residents have already contacted me with concerns over changes to bulk refuse collection and fly tipping levels across our city.
These new proposals will reduce essential services, cut opening times at our only waste recycling centre and introduce charging. None of these changes represent good news for those of us who want to see Portsmouth become a cleaner and tidier city.
The ‘tip tax’ will hit hard working families and the vulnerable. This is an attempt at a quick fix to save money, but it may result in costly, long term damage to our city”.