Plan to axe skip scheme will ‘lead to more dumping’

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PLANS to scrap a scheme which gives free rubbish skips to residents could lead to a huge increase in fly- tipping, it has been warned.

Gosport Borough Council looks set to axe its amenity bin service to save more than £50,000 a year.

At the moment, the council provides around 500 skips a year to residents, free of charge, so they can get rid of unwanted items.

But under the new plans, residents will be encouraged to take unwanted items down to the household waste recycling centre in Rowner.

But Councillor Peter Chegwyn, leader of the Lib Dems in Gosport, is worried that cutting the use of the skips could encourage people to dump their rubbish in the town – and the taxpayer will be forced to pay to clear it up.

‘It’s a scheme unique to Gosport. People can ask for the skip and it’s delivered and stays there for two to three days’, he said.

‘It’s so short-sighted because council officers have told me it will lead to fly tipping.

‘Scrapping it will just mean that it will be harder to get rid of stuff and the less responsible people will fly-tip it and it will cost the council more.

‘We all know that cuts have to be made but this is going about it in the wrong way.’

Fly-tipping has become an increasingly big problem in the town, with many people being taken to court and fined over incidents.

In December, The News reported on Tristan Donaldson whose truck was spotted in Lee-on-the-Solent after he had dumped rubbish including a fridge freezer, a computer terminal, a wardrobe, mattresses and building rubble on the seafront.

The ownership of the vehicle was vested with the council, which means officers were able to legally seize the truck.

And in May last year, Kang Lee was sentenced to 60 hours of community service after he was caught dumping items outside the Household Waste Recycling Centre because it was closed.

The council has to make £2.2m of savings for the next financial year and has promised to make savings rather than increase council tax.

Council leader Mark Hook said: ‘We have to make these decisions and it’s important that we deliver no increase in council tax.

‘It will be the second year running.

‘It’s a very expensive way of getting rid of rubbish. We should be encouraging people to recycle more.

‘Some of the service is being abused because people are putting in things like asbestos.

‘It costs thousands to get rid of it. But we will be cracking down on fly- tipping.’