Hampshire County Council has launched a ten week public consultation today (Wednesday 16 March) to ask residents how they think savings can best be made in the cost of running Hampshire’s Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs)
Councillor Seán Woodward, Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment said: “The cuts the Government has made to Hampshire’s grant are now so severe that we simply cannot afford to carry on as before. The County Council had been planning to make savings to meet a £98 million funding shortfall by April 2017, but when the Government announced its funding plans for local authorities for the next three years, Hampshire lost £48 million more this year than had been anticipated.
“It is, therefore, vital that we make sure the resources we have in Hampshire are focused on where they can make the most impact, and how we deal with Hampshire’s waste is part of this. We are now in a position where we need to establish how we can run the HWRC service with a much smaller budget in a way that is financially sustainable for Hampshire council taxpayers in the long term.”
Hampshire County Council currently operates a network of 24 sites which are open seven days a week, except for Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.
Councillor Woodward went to explain: “We have a large number of HWRCs in Hampshire compared with other areas, and it is clear we are no longer in a financial position to be able to provide this same level of service.
“This consultation is a genuine opportunity for people to tell us how they think a different and more affordable model can be established. We are asking people what they think of changes in opening hours – an hour less each day, weekend only opening , winter closures – and what they think of closing some sites altogether. We will be looking at how many people use each of the sites, how much waste is collected, and the distances between sites.
“I would urge Hampshire residents to take part in this consultation and help us define an affordable service which works for them. No decisions will be made until we have looked at all the evidence and taken people’s views into consideration.”
For more information and to respond to the consultation, go to: www.hants.gov.uk/hwrc2016
Paper copies of the consultation can be obtained by contacting 0300 555 1389 or emailing [email protected] The deadline for responses is midday on 25 May 2016.