CONCERNS have been raised that a vital service in Basingstoke could be further affected by Hampshire County Council’s latest round of cuts.

The Household Waste and Recycling Centre (HWRC) in Wade Road could charge residents £1 every time they visit the centre run by the authority.

However, residents have told The Gazette they feel the site is already understaffed and a change in the service could result in more fly-tipping.

John Picard, of Hatch Warren, said: “This site is out of date and cannot cope with the amount of waste needed to be recycled, what with the new houses being built and the town expanding more money needs to be given to waste and recycling.”

Hazel Vanbergen of Old Basing added: “Too many people with small amounts of DIY resent the charges already imposed upon them when they visit the tip, so increases here will be seriously unwelcome.”

“It is also the case that when smaller household works are completed , tradesmen often ask to leave behind their waste for grey bin disposal as the relative charge for licensed disposal can be disproportionate to the cost of the job and their customers resent paying this too.”

Members of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s community, environment and partnerships policy committee were due to discuss the state of the service HCC provides at a meeting last night (Wednesday).

In a report put to councillors, cabinet member for regulatory services and the environment Councillor Hayley Eachus said: “I share resident and member concerns about the negative impact any changes to HWRCs that could have on the effectiveness of this service and the other implications this could have in the borough.”

Cllr Rob Humby, HCC executive member for environment, said: “Operating all of Hampshire’s HWRCs as efficiently as possible is a priority for both the county council and Veolia.

“Part of this involves making sure all containers are filled to capacity before they leave the sites, using techniques such as compaction, to minimise the amount of haulage needed to service the bins. In this way, interruptions for people using the site are kept to a minimum. Once a bin is full, it is exchanged for an empty one. At the Wade Road HWRC, there are 13 bins available (three for green waste, two for card, two for metal, two for household waste, two for combustible waste and two for plastic).

“The site manager carefully manages the site and the filling of bins so that should one of the bins be full and ready for compaction or emptying, there are others available.

“We have checked our records and can confirm that the correct number of staff, as agreed in our contract with Veolia to safely and effectively operate the site, have been in attendance throughout the last month – that is five staff on weekdays, and six staff on weekends and bank holidays.”