Waste charges could see Portsmouth become '˜grubby city' warn critics

CONCERNS are growing Portsmouth could garner a reputation as a '˜grubby city' plagued by fly-tipping.

Friday, 23rd September 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 5th October 2016, 2:46 pm
Flytipping on Portsdown Hill Picture: Kyle Johnson

The warnings come after city environment bosses yesterday approved plans to close the Port Solent rubbish centre one day in the week – and start charging residents to dump DIY waste.

Critics say making people pay to scrap soil, rubble, plasterboard and asbestos will add to levels of waste already being fly-tipped.

And they’ve blasted the council for rolling out a ‘tip tax’ that could hit the vulnerable hardest. But the Tory council says it has to ‘mirror’ changes at the county council’s waste disposal sites – and it needs the cash to stop next year’s budget from collapsing.

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Labour environment spokesman Cllr Stephen Morgan, said: ‘A better strategy is needed. None of these changes represent good news for those of us who want to see Portsmouth become a cleaner and tidier city.

‘The “tip tax” will hit hard-working families and the vulnerable. This is an attempt at a quick fix to save money, but it may result in costly, long-term damage to our city.’

Lib Dem leader Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson said: ‘People come to me all the time talking about the city looking grubby and stuff being dumped and fly-tipped. This is going to lead to more fly-tipping, and a city which looks even more grubby.’

It comes after Tory culture boss, Cllr Linda Symes, condemned the state of shopping areas, saying: ‘The Southsea shopping centre area – Osborne Road and Palmerston Road north and south – is quite grubby.

‘If we want to continue being a tourist destination, and if we want to bring people to the city, we need to make sure our streets are always washed-down and clean.’

Approving the plans, Tory environment boss Cllr Rob New said: ‘In an ideal world, we wouldn’t want to be mirroring some of these changes, but we have to look at the stark realities. Our council is struggling to put together its budget, and we have another two years of austerity to come.’

He warned not closing the tip on a Thursday could see a surge in demand from other parts of the county.

The new charges, which come in on October 1, are;

n Soil and rubble – £2.50 per part or whole 30 litre bag, and £2.50 per individual item

n Plasterboard – £6 per bag or £10 per sheet

n Cement-bonded asbestos – £12 per sheet.

The Port Solent tip will close on a Thursday and be open for two hours less every other day from January 1. It’s new hours will be 11am to 6pm in the summer and 11am to 4pm in the winter.