Residents in Hartley Wintney have reacted to the news that the area might be losing its local rubbish tip.

As previously reported, as many as 12 tips in Hampshire could close in a bid to save Hampshire County Council £1.6m per year.

The council has presented its proposal as part of the saving plan to meet the forecasted £132m budget shortfall by April 2025, with all departments asked to reduce costs and provide the legal minimum of services required by law.

As part of the proposals, the county council has detailed its plan, which includes the future closure of 12 household waste recycling centres (HWRCs) which would save up to £1.6m a year.

The county council has targeted Alresford, Bishops Waltham, Fair Oak, Hartley Wintney, and Hayling Island as the smallest sites and most expensive to run. The closure of these five would save around £500,000 per year.

Gazette reporter visited Hartley Wintney on Thursday, February 1 to ask those in the area what they thought about the proposals.

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Ruth Mcallister, who lives locally, doesn't want the tip to close. She said: "Although I haven’t used it much recently, it would be a real shame for the area to lose it. It’s so convenient and is well used by the community."

Praising the staff, Hartley Wintney resident Michael Webber said: "It's invaluable to the local area. The staff that work there are absolutely brilliant and are forever willing to help whenever or however they can, and on top of that the centre here is run perfectly.

"It would be a massive loss for the area and would result in people having to travel as far as Basingstoke to get rid of their rubbish, which will increase pollution in turn and result in more fly-tipping."

Hartley Wintney resident Joy Moss wondered if other methods of saving could be found. She said: "Surely the council can work out better ways of making up the shortfall in its budget without taking away services from whole areas of residents."

Jen Hope, who lives in the village, shared her concerns about fly-tipping if centres were to be closed. She added: "I think a move like this will just increase the amount of fly-tipping you see around the local area, which is a massive hindrance to residents and road users alike.

"It would be a shame to see it go, so I hope they can find some solution that means it can stay. The people who work there are marvellous and it would be sad to see them lose any of their jobs."

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Further closures could also happen in the Aldershot, Bordon, Casbrook, Hedge End, Marchwood, Petersfield, and Somerley sites.

The council said that closing certain sites may impact the employees working at those sites, which Veolia manages on behalf of the council. In such cases, the staff who work at those sites and are employed by Veolia may be affected and face job losses. 

Another way to save money on waste management would be by reducing the opening hours of tips, which the council estimates could save £1.2m, but this will require a reduction in opening times equivalent to around three days per week across the network.