Portsmouth tip booking should be kept despite end of Covid-19 pandemic, say residents

More than half of people living near Portsmouth’s tip have said they support the booking system – and oppose calls for it to be scrapped.
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Requested by councillors as part of a motion passed by the city council in December calling for an end to the system brought in during the pandemic, the survey found 60 per cent of people in Port Solent wanted it to remain.

Paulsgrove councillor George Madgwick, who put forward the amendment to the motion requiring the survey to be undertaken, said he would now back this position, despite personally wanting it to be scrapped.

People used to queue right around Port Solent to use the tip.

Picture: Habibur RahmanPeople used to queue right around Port Solent to use the tip.

Picture: Habibur Rahman
People used to queue right around Port Solent to use the tip. Picture: Habibur Rahman
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‘It’s my job to respect the wishes of my constituents regardless of my views about it,’ he told The News. ‘The reasons I asked for the council to ask for people’s views is to gauge opinion and I will support that.’

The Lib Dem city council administration extended the requirement for people to book timeslots to visit 18 months ago, following the recommendation of council officers who said it was working well.

But the motion, put forward by Conservative councillor Matthew Atkins, said it was inconveniencing people looking to dispose of rubbish.

‘The time has come to recognise that the situation set up for the household waste recycling centre is possibly more convenient to the council than it is for residents,’ he said at the time. ‘It presents a significant barrier to access among some people in the city.

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He added: ‘I do recognise that there are benefits of the booking system. I’m not saying I think it’s a totally terrible thing – but I think that there must be some kind of sensible compromise or middle ground that could be found here.’

The online survey started on January 19 and ran until February 12 with 195 people responding out of the 700 homes and businesses closest to the tip.

Of these, 49 per cent said they strongly support the booking system remaining with another 11 per cent slightly agreeing. Twenty nine per cent strongly disagreed with it and 10 per cent slightly disagreed. The numbers were rounded and published in a cabinet report.

The council said requiring people to book before visiting had helped reduce traffic and queuing problems in the area while also reducing pollution.

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Echoing this position, several cabinet members have called for it to be kept, saying people could still book slots on the same day if needed.

‘It does work very well,’ cabinet member for environment Kimberly Barrett said at the December meeting. ‘I think it’s very important to mention… we have a telephone appointment system because we do realise that not everyone can go online to book. It has been really popular and my counterparts across Hampshire have supported it.’

Similar systems were introduced across Hampshire at the start of the pandemic and their use has also been extended.