THE council will not review its fly-tipping strategy, despite waste dumping being described as a “growing concern” for residents and a “scar” on communities.

Last week, Cllr Grant Donohoe (Labour, Popley) put forward a motion calling on the council cabinet to introduce financial tracking of its fly-tipping campaign, as well as implement other strategies including increased CCTV and recycling facilities.

Supporters asked that the current strategy be reviewed by the council’s scrutiny committee due to “insufficient progress made”, but were instead told the subject would be raised at the Community, Environment and Partnerships (CEP) group next year.

Proposing the motion with his first council speech since being elected in May, Cllr Donohoe, said: “This is something on which we come together regardless of party.

“This motion is necessary, affordable and achievable. We have fragmented land ownership and fragmented responsibilities and we need coordinated action to combat that.

“With proper financial awareness of the scale of the problem we can recoup investments easily. While the volume of incidents are growing, they are not yet irreversible.”

He continued: “This problem of fly-tipping is a scar on my ward of Popley, and as with many matters Popley deserves better. When it comes to fly-tipping, so does every area of Basingstoke.”

Supporting the motion, Cllr Paul Harvey (BDI, Norden) thanked the council officers dealing with fly-tipping clear-up, but agreed the situation and waits of up to 18 months in some cases was “incredibly frustrating”.

Cllr Tony Jones (Labur, South Ham), added: “Every ward in this borough has problems and we do get response from our officers, and it's alright responding but we need to stop it at source. It's not political, it's across the board.”

Meanwhile Cllr Angie Freeman (Labour, Winklebury & Manydown) described fly-tipping in her ward as “constant and relentless”.

“No sooner have the crews come to clear it, it's back again. We need some sort of deterrent and this motion seeks to address that,” she said.

However, cabinet members and many fellow Conservative councillors were not convinced.

Cllr Mark Ruffell, cabinet member for the natural environment and climate improvement, said: “Fly-tipping is something that we should look carefully at, but looking forward, not backward with scrutiny.”

He added: “The idea of sticking cameras round every turning in rural environments is just not going to happen.”

Cllr Eachus, cabinet member for recycling, waste and regulatory services admitted that fly-tipping “continues to be a significant problem”, but shot down suggestions that it is on the rise, saying: “It is often perceived and claimed that fly-tipping is increasing. There have been periods when it's gone up, but also when it's gone down.”

She continued: “Fly-tipping is undeniably harmful on many levels that’s why this issue is given priority by the council, and a zero tolerance approach is given. We have a brilliant hardworking enforcement team. Fly-tipping is a national problem. The experience of what goes on in our borough is no different to elsewhere.”

However, she said that Basingstoke is “set apart” by its 24 hour target response time and prosecution record, which saw 13 offenders convicted in the past year, the second highest rate in Hampshire.

Cllr Eachus said that the issue would be looked at by the CEP committee in early 2022.

Speaking as the motion’s seconder, Cllr Jackie Tustain (Labour, Popley) said “more clarity on causes and costs” is needed, adding: “Without more data, we can only speculate on the problem. This is a disgusting and unacceptable problem that blights our borough.”

But the motion to review at scrutiny was ultimately rejected, by 28 votes to 17, with two abstentions.