WIDESPREAD changes to the county’s waste and recycling centres are to be pushed back until next October.
Earlier this year, Hampshire County Council agreed proposals to close the county’s tips every Thursday and open them later at 11am.
What we are now seeking from the government is to get more clarity and information on the situationCouncillor Rob Humby
Users are set to be charged £2.50 for a 30-litre bag of soil and rubble with other charges set to apply to plasterboard and cement-bonded asbestos.
The authority had hoped that the move would save it up to £1.55m.
However, the programme on opening hours is now set to be pushed back until next October after Councillor Rob Humby, the council’s executive member for environment, decided yesterday to hold off the implementation due to a ‘lack of clarity’ from the government over the legality of local authorities charging for ‘DIY waste’.
The government said that ‘DIY waste’ – which it did not define – should be classed as household waste and therefore should not be disposed of without a charge.
The delay to the programme is set to cost the council £600,000.
Councillor Humby said at a meeting in Winchester: ‘There are 11 other councils that have been using this method for years, some as far back as 2008.
‘What we are now seeking from the government is to get more clarity and information on the situation.
‘There are so many variables at the moment that we need to achieve clarity about.’
He added that he would be writing to Hampshire’s MPs in an effort to obtain the information needed before the local authority carried out any further steps.
Councillor David Simpson questioned Councillor Humby on how the council would tackle fly-tipping in the wake of the proposals.
He said: ‘What is the authority doing to make sure we don’t see a rise in fly-tipping as a result of these proposals?’
Councillor Humby responded: ‘We are working with other partners such as our district and borough colleagues and the police to make sure we prevent fly-tipping.
‘We need to make sure we are catching and prosecuting these people.’
He added that the council had put a strategy in place to help them cut down on fly-tippers.