RESIDENTS in north Hampshire could be forced to pay when using their closest tip in Newbury if new plans are approved.

Residents across the region have been able to use the tip in West Berkshire for free in recent years under a deal between Hampshire County Council and West Berkshire Council - as they are closer to the Newtown Road Household Waste Recycling Centre than any site in Hampshire.

However, that could be under threat on Thursday, when HCC's deputy leader is expected to approve plans to terminate the agreement, meaning residents will be forced to fork out or travel further to sites in Andover or Basingstoke.

Since 2017, HCC have paid £175,000 per year to WBC to allow free access to the Newbury HWRC for some 5,000 households in north Hampshire.

However, Cllr Rob Humby says that this is unfair, as every household in Hampshire is subsidising this arrangement.

He said: “The cost of dealing with household waste and running our HWRC network is significant, and we need to look carefully at all our costs to ensure value for money for all of Hampshire’s council taxpayers.

"We’ve analysed the costs of paying West Berkshire Council over the past years we’ve run this transitional permit scheme for a small group of residents in North East Hampshire, allowing them to access West Berkshire Council’s HWRC in Newbury, at no cost to themselves, but the costs involved mean that effectively every household in Hampshire is subsidising this arrangement.

"We need to carefully consider if it is the right thing to do to continue to subsidise a service for residents in one part of the county at the expense of everyone else.”

It comes after chaos at a number of tips across the county last month when they reopened for the first time in seven weeks.

Since then, a booking system has been introduced to try and reduce the traffic jams.

The recommendation being considered by the Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment at his Decision Day on 2 July is to cease payments to West Berkshire Council and introduce the charge for non-Hampshire residents on 31 July.

West Berkshire Council have indicated that they will no longer allow Hampshire residents to use the Newtown Road HWRC from 1 August 2020 if the County Council payment stops. The nearest HWRCs for residents of north west Hampshire are at Andover and Basingstoke.