County council denies Hayling is the target of government savings

Chancellor Philip Hammond holding his red ministerial box outside 11 Downing Street, London, before heading to the House of Commons to deliver his Budget

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HAMPSHIRE County Council has denied targeting Hayling Island in its bid to cut costs.

It comes as councillor Clare Satchwell said she felt the area was being picked on as more than 1,000 people signed a petition to prevent the household waste and recycling centre from being closed.

She said it was the latest in a line of decisions including the ferry closing and a new 30mph speed limit being introduced.

Councillor Rob Humby, the council’s executive member for environment and transport, said: ‘The savings the county council is having to make due to continual reductions in government grants are in no way targeted on any one particular area of Hampshire.

‘No decisions have been made on any of Hampshire’s household waste recycling centres and will not be until the consultation has closed, and the results and evidence thoroughly analysed.

‘We have a large number of HWRCs in Hampshire compared with other areas, and it is clear we are no longer in a financial position to be able to provide this same level of service.

‘So we have embarked on a 10-week public consultation exercise which is a genuine opportunity for people to tell us how they think a different and more affordable model can be established.’

Cllr Humby added that the council subsidised the ferry for several years but it did not represent value for money for the county’s taxpayers. He also said that the speed limit was introduced as part of a project to make the area’s roads safer.