Charities could lose out if Gosport Borough Council takes over recycling bins

DONATION ''Sue Hand puts old clothes in a textile recycling bin. Picture: Allan Hutchings (131329-900)
DONATION ''Sue Hand puts old clothes in a textile recycling bin. Picture: Allan Hutchings (131329-900)
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CHARITIES are concerned they may lose out if Gosport’s council takes over textile recycling bins in the area.

Councillor Derek Kimber is heading up a working group at the council and says four charities fear they will lose cash.

It comes as the council is looking into following Fareham’s decision to replace charities’ bins with its own.

Conservative Cllr Kimber told The News: ‘We’ve interviewed four of the five charity users and got their views.

‘They would be disappointed if they joined the framework because they would lose money, initially.

‘They would have to look for more commercial sites to put their stuff on.’

Cllr Kimber said the charities want the council to agree to let them stay on the sites.

But he added his group will not be setting council policy.

Instead, it is fact-finding and any decision will go to committee then to full council.

‘All we’re doing is trying to point out all sides to the story,’ added Cllr Kimber.

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance, the British Heart Foundation, the Salvation Army, Traid and Dreams Come True all run recycling bins in the borough.

Any move by the council would mean the authority would decide where the cash from selling on the clothes goes.

Fareham Borough Council agreed in April last year to take a 10 per cent slice of the money.

But Cllr Rob Hylands, who sits on the working group with Cllr Kimber, is concerned that any agreement could change.

Liberal Democrat ward member for Brockhurst Cllr Hylands said the charities would get compensation if the bins were removed but any future deal was unclear.

He said: ‘Under the contract system after the first four or five years or so, they would then be up for renegotiation.

‘Nobody could promise whether they would continue to get some funding if we went down the Fareham scheme.

‘For a couple of them, the textiles that are put in the bins are actually stocking the shops.’

The British Heart Foundation takes clothes from the bin to sell in its shops, meaning it could lose out if the council takes over the bins.

No decision has yet been made and the working group is putting together its report.

As reported, Cllr Kimber said money pulled in from recycling could be spent on local community groups.

There are 13 sites that have textile recycling bins on them.