People running waste disposal companies could need to register with the council in a bid to crack down on fly-tipping.

The idea was widely supported in a debate between council candidates last night on the impact of fly-tipping.

The scheme, according to candidates, would allow the council to know that people disposing of waste are doing so legally.

Other potential solutions included increasing CCTV coverage of the council's recycling sites and greater education on the impact of fly-tipping.

Meanwhile, Labour leader Andy McCormick pledged to open a new recycling site to the west of Basingstoke to alleviate the pressure on the Wade Road tip, whilst also saying that charges on bulky waste collections should be limited or abolished.

It comes after The Gazette reported last month how fly-tipping in the borough was at an eight-year high, whilst Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council were forced to announce the closure of one recycling site in Black Dam after it was targeted by vandals and fly-tippers.

In a hustings hosted by climate campaign group Basingstoke Transition Network ahead of May's all-out borough council elections, there was plenty of agreement among candidates of the issues posed by fly-tipping. Tristan Robinson (Conservative) labelled it "a blight on our beautiful countryside and it needs to be stopped".

Gavin James (Liberal Democrat) said that the main issue the council faces is by obtaining the evidence it requires to take the fly-tippers to court.

"We need to make sure we make it easier for people to get rid of waste and that means opening the tips for longer," he added, a point that was widely agreed.

Meanwhile, both he and Labour's Cllr McCormick suggested that a second tip should be opened to alleviate pressure, whilst Cllr Robinson suggested the scrapping of the booking system at the current site as it is "not working".

Fitting CCTV in hotspots was also a popular idea, with independent candidate Lucie Follett Maitland saying: "The issue of CCTV which I know is uncomfortable for some, but I do rather think it has become more of a necessity".

She also said "a degree of public shaming" would help crack down on fly-tipping.

The Green Party's Jonathan Jenkin said the remedy to the situation came down to three key issues, "convenience, ignorance and cost", and that "tackling these three things together will help alleviate fly-tipping".

He proposed a certification system that would encourage companies to comply and also reward those sticking to the letter of the law with discounts.

Another idea was providing an incentive for whistle-blowing.

The Women's Equality Party's Priya Brown said: "We will work with businesses to support households in the safe disposal of white goods and building waste and we will do this by funding and working with businesses to improve recycling facilities".

She also suggested community-wide recycling schemes, that would decrease the amount of waste needing to be thrown away.

Chris Tomblin, of the Basingstoke and Deane Independents, said that education was also key, saying: "People just don't care. Look at the scenes in Bournemouth in the summer.

"There are big commercial operations and small operations. For the big people, we need government help with legislation."

Spencer Cleary, of the Hampshire Independents, said that the "answer is blindly obvious".

He suggested that charges on certain waste should be removed, adding: "Don't charge anyone anything to take rubbish to the dump.

"As soon as we do that all they are going to do is think 'I don't want to pay'. Everyone is going on about CCTV, just allow the waste recycling [centres] to take any waste at all free of charge as well as having the dumps open for longer."

But Cllr Robinson disagreed with removing charges on that, and the borough's bulky waste collections, adding: "It is a very noble thing to say that we will abolish charges but that cost has to be made somewhere and it may well go on council tax."

You can see all of the candidates standing in your ward here.