Newtown Road HWRC
Cessation of Transitional Agreement between Hampshire County Council and West Berkshire Council for use of Newtown HWRC by residents of NW Hampshire living in near proximity.
Great news from Clive Sanders and thanks for all the local support.
Agreement has been reached in principle for residents of NW Hampshire to continue to have access to the Newtown Road household waste recycling centre (HWRC) in Newbury.
Following lengthy discussions Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, who have no responsibility for HWRC’s, have nevertheless stepped in and signalled their intention to protect the interests of their residents as part of their initiative to reduce carbon emissions in response to the climate change emergency declared last year. They are prepared to share with Hampshire County Council (HCC) the costs for continued access for existing permit holders demanded by West Berkshire Council.
This will be a transitional arrangement for one year, but HCC will also undertake to examine the possibility of establishing a new HWRC at a site which has been identified locally in Kingsclere. This would have the benefit of not only serving the residents of NW Hampshire but also potentially relieving some of the pressure on the Wade Road site in Basingstoke by attracting residents from parts of Tadley, Baughurst, Overton and surrounding areas.
Access to Newtown Road will remain as before and currently is by pre-booked appointment only. It is restricted to those already holding the authorisation permits.
The agreement is expected to be finalised by all three councils next week and be effective from August 1st.
Thank you to everybody who signed the petition to show the strength of feeling of residents and to Sally Fenwick for setting it up.
East Woodhay Parish Council (EWPC) is aware of the recent declaration by Hampshire County Council (HCC) that it will not seek further extension of the current mutual arrangement it has with West Berks Council, for access to the Newtown Household Waste Recycling Centre (the “Facility”) by approximately 5,000 households of North West Hampshire. These households pay their full Council Tax to HCC but are currently granted permits for access to the facility due to its significantly closer proximity than any similar HCC-operated site. An inter-Council payment arrangement has existed for provision of this service since 2017. Sadly, EWPC was not consulted by either Council prior to this announcement.
At an emergency Parish Council meeting held on 6th July 2020, EWPC councillors considered and discussed HCC’s declaration. They concluded that withdrawal of such an obviously ecologically preferable arrangement is a retrograde step in the region’s stated ambition to work towards a more ecologically sustainable environment and that such a measure would have significant cost implications for their parishioners and for those of neighbouring parishes. They resolved urgently to seek ways by which the two responsible Councils may be able reach a suitable arrangement to avoid householders in future having to travel up to 40 miles for a single return trip to a re-cycling facility.
EWPC also actively encourages all those affected by the decision to register their concerns by participation in the petition raised specifically on this issue. Furthermore, in its desire to find a more workable long term solution, and in association with the similarly impacted Parish Councils of Burghclere and Highclere, EWPC is urgently calling for:
- clarity from both West Berks Council and Hampshire County Council on the options proposed to date and the reasons for their rejection;
- presentation to the affected Parishes by the Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment of HCC of the socio-demographic, financial and environmental models prepared in support of the decision taken;
- constructive engagement of both Councils with the affected Parish Councils and their parishioners to explain the background to decisions taken and to consider alternative proposals from those affected by the removal of access to this resource.
EWPC remains hopeful that a workable resolution to this unsatisfactory situation can be achieved, and will be engaging fully with all concerned parties to achieve this goal to the benefit of all residents in East Woodhay Parish and for those in affected neighbouring Parishes.