THE campaign to save an island’s tip from closure is gathering momentum.
Hampshire County Council is consulting on plans to close the household waste and recycling centre on Hayling Island, meaning residents will have to take their rubbish to Havant or Waterlooville.
The return trip to Havant is between 60 to 90 minutes on a busy day.
Now, ahead of May’s local elections, every sitting councillor and candidate has signed an open letter explaining to the county council that losing the tip is not acceptable.
The campaign is being led by Allison Wiltshire who presented the letter to Councillor Roy Perry, leader of the council, last week.
Ms Wiltshire said: ‘Hayling is in an unusual and unique situation with a single road to join the mainland. Residents are stunned that this is even under consideration.’
Residents are stunned that this is even under considerationAlison Wiltshire
Hayling East councillor John Perry said: ‘The island is united in demanding that the unnecessary planned closure of our recycling centre be halted.’
Cllr Perry’s Conservative colleague Clare Satchwell said: ‘There is such strong feeling in our community that regardless of political party we have all united behind this resident-led campaign and put party politics aside.’
The number of people who have signed an online petition to save the tip has risen to 750.
And Havant MP Alan Mak has thrown his weight behind the campaign. He is calling on residents to respond to the consultation, and sign the petition.
Mr Mak has vowed to lobby the key decision-makers at the county council.
He said: ‘I’m working hard on this issue. The more voices and signatures we collect, the stronger our case will be. Let’s hope Hampshire County Council listens to residents.’
In a statement Hampshire County Council said they had to look for savings due to cuts in government funding.
‘We currently operate a network of 24 sites which are open seven days a week, except for Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. With reduced funding, this level of service is no longer possible and so a number of proposals (which include changes to opening hours - an hour less each day, weekend only opening, winter closures, the full closure of some sites, and a combination of these choices) are currently out to public consultation, until midday on Wednesday 25 May.
‘We would like to hear from as many residents as possible, their views of these proposals, and have so far received over 3,000 responses. Together with information such as how the sites are used, the amount of waste collected at each HWRC, and how close each one is to another site, the feedback we receive during the consultation will be used to inform recommendations later in the year. No decisions on any new service changes to any of the HWRCs will be made until that time. The consultation questionnaire also asks whether members of the public support the principle of paying a small charge. This would require a change in the law but could potentially be a way of maintaining current service level.’
The consultation ends on May 25 and a decision will be made by the end of the summer.
To make a representation go to bit.ly/23rb78m.
To sign the petition go to chn.ge/1VjxtDN.