title="Wokefield Parish Council in West Berkshire">

News  »  September launch for new West Berkshire waste permit scheme

   September launch for new West Berkshire waste permit scheme    5 August, 2016

September launch for new West Berkshire waste permit scheme

A new permit scheme for accessing West Berkshire household waste recycling centres will begin on Monday 26 September, 2016.

The scheme is being introduced to ensure West Berkshire residents do not have to pay for waste brought to the district from elsewhere through their council tax. Until recently, Hampshire County Council paid £200,000 a year to allow its residents to use West Berkshire facilities but stopped this funding earlier this year. Hampshire residents currently account for around 40% of waste taken to Padworth and 20% of waste taken to Newbury and the cost of disposing of this waste now falls to West Berkshire council taxpayers and puts an additional strain on the waste service. In March, West Berkshire Council also decided to cease funding towards the re3 waste partnership – funding which allowed residents to use the Smallmead recycling centre in Reading.

From 26 September West Berkshire residents will need to display a vehicle permit in order to access the household waste recycling centres in Newbury and Padworth. A permit will be posted to every household across the district in the coming weeks and must be clearly displayed in order to enter the recycling centres.

Each household will receive a single permit that can be used in domestic vehicles. Residents who only own a commercial-type vehicle will be able to apply online for a permit.

Neither site is registered to dispose of commercial waste so businesses, which are already prohibited from the centres, will not be issued with permits.

From Monday, waste collection teams will be leaving bin hangers on bins to tell homeowners about the changes.

As well as the introduction of a permit scheme West Berkshire Council intends, subject to planning permission, to extend Padworth so that it can accept general household waste. From the planning application being submitted it will take around six months to upgrade the site.

Speaking about the permit scheme Councillor Marcus Franks, Portfolio Holder for Communities and Public Protection, said: “This permit scheme will help us to ensure West Berkshire residents do not have to pay for the disposal of waste from other districts. At a time when our resources are tighter than ever it is important that we are using them wisely to protect our services as best as we can.

“We have worked hard to minimise any inconvenience to local people with permits, which will be posted out to residents. Anyone who only owns a commercial-type vehicle will soon be able to request one through an online form. We will now be working hard to communicate these changes to local residents to make sure everybody knows about these changes.”

The permit scheme has been introduced in response to changes to regional waste arrangements as local authorities respond to reductions in their budgets. This includes reductions in funding for cross-border arrangements which have compelled local authorities to introduce permit schemes – including one for Reading, Wokingham and Bracknell – to manage the costs of waste disposal.

Before West Berkshire Council decided to cease funding towards re3 discussions took place to explore how costs might be reduced while allowing residents to continue using the Smallmead site. These were unsuccessful and re3 subsequently chose to implement its permit scheme.

Councillor Marcus Franks has written to Andrea Leadsom MP, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, to raise awareness of the impact reductions in local government funding is having on waste services. In his letter he highlights that similar choices will be made across the country and will only be solved if the government acts.

Speaking about the letter, Councillor Franks said: “I felt it important that I write and highlight to the government how ridiculous this situation is. District boundaries are important to councils but less so to our residents who simply want to use their nearest waste centre. We didn’t want to introduce a permit scheme but we were forced to because of decisions made by others and I’m sure this will be happening around the country. I believe the government should act and hope they will give the issues I’ve raised some serious consideration.”

More information about the new permit scheme will be available from Monday at www.westberks.gov.uk/hwrcpermit

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