Closing tips will lead to fly-tipping and rat infestations says would-be MP

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Fly-tipped rubbish in a layby between Droxford and Hambledon

The plan to close tips in Hampshire including ones in Bishop’s Waltham, Alresford and Fair Oak will increase the number of unlicensed rubbish removal companies, fly-tipping and rat infestations, a Hampshire parliamentary candidate has warned.

The proposal is part of Hampshire County Council’s savings program to fill a £132 million budget gap for 2025/26.

Under the savings proposal, which is currently under consultation until March 31st, almost 12 tips across Hampshire could close in a strategy to save £1.6 million per year.

The county council’s plan will also see opening times and the types of waste accepted change at the household waste recycling centres (HWRC).

The Conservative administration has targeted Alresford, Bishops Waltham, Fair Oak, Hartley Wintney, and Hayling Island as the smallest sites, which it said are the poorest performing and most expensive to run.

The closure of these five would save around £500,000 per year.

On top of that, due to operational challenges and investment requirements, the Aldershot, Bordon, Casbrook, Hedge End, Marchwood, Petersfield and Somerley sites could also be shut.

Khalil Yousuf, who has been selected as the Liberal Democrats’ candidate for the new cross-border Farnham and Bordon constituency, said the closure of Borden’s tip would affect current and future residents.

He said: “Borden is a tier three tip, so it serves somewhere in the region of 35,000 people, but you have to bear in mind that it’s not just the 35,000 currently there. It’s also the additional houses that are planned.

“If the tip closes, it will impact the current residents and the huge infrastructure that’s being developed within Bordon as well because there is a huge amount of housing development in Bordon.”

“Britain is sinking under a sea of filth,” says Martin Montague, creator of the free fly-tipping reporting website and app. “We need higher fines for fly-tippers, the vehicles of offenders crushed or confiscated and prison terms for persistent waste criminals.

“What we don’t need are local authorities restricting access to tips because this will inevitably lead to more fly-tipping. Anything that makes it difficult for people to access recycling centres, be it having to book in advance or restricting or reducing opening hours, will lead to more waste crime.

Martin Montague, creator of the free fly-tipping reporting website and app

“If tips aren’t open as much when people have DIY leftovers, garden waste or stuff they’ve found after a clear-out they’ll turn to social media to look for someone to take their rubbish away.

“But there are a lot of rogue traders operating who are ready to take advantage of unsuspecting consumers and people really shouldn’t just hand their unwanted stuff to someone with a van who offers to remove it for them for a bit of cash.

“If they do there’s a high chance it may up fly-tipped and the householder may then get prosecuted as, by law, it is their responsibility to ensure that their waste is taken away by a licensed and legitimate company.

“Everyone hates fly-tipping – it’s terrible for the environment, costs taxpayers millions of pounds in clear-up costs and it is often linked to organised crime and even more serious criminality.”

Mr Yousuf also said residents have expressed their concerns over tip closures and the cuts that Hampshire County Council has proposed.

He said: “They are very, very concerned about it. They’re concerned about overdevelopment in Bordon without infrastructure. Then they’re concerned about council cuts, and there is nothing that we’re hearing from the government that is anything more than a sticking plaster.

“Local residents are really suffering. They have been seeing cuts, not just recently but over the course of the last ten or 12 years, and actually, it’s really not fair because these are essential services. It’s not like the public doesn’t pay for them; they do pay for them in very significant council tax, and they pay for it through lots of indirect taxation as well.”

He added that fly-tipping, which is already a problem across the county, will increase the number of unlicensed waste carriers and rat problems.

He said: “When the council tips shut down, fly-tipping will increase. There is already a huge problem of unlicensed waste carriers fly-tipping across the constituency, which will also increase. That will also increase the rat problem; both are linked together.

“There’s a very good reason why waste sites are a statutory public service: they have to be provided by law, and they have to be provided without charge.

“The rules about how much you provide and how long they’re to remain open are very flexible, but fundamentally, there is a statutory duty to provide them, and the reason is that there’s a public health benefit in doing so.”

Mr Yousuf recognised the county council’s financial position; however, the cuts “will not be going to resolve the huge hole in the finances that the council has” that comes as a result of “many years of underfunding, which is a tragedy and very harmful for the population.”

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