WAVERLEY’S portfolio holder for the environment, has vowed to prosecute anyone caught dumping rubbish at the Wey Hill Fairground car park in the wake of cuts to Haslemere’s green waste collection service.
Councillor James Edwards’ remarks at last week’s meeting of the borough council’s executive committee came in response to a post on the ‘Haslemere Rants’ Facebook group, encouraging residents to “dump their waste” following the impending termination of the popular green waste service.
The Hindhead councillor said: “We may well have an issue in Haslemere in regards to the removal of the green waste lorry.
“I note on Haslemere Rants the people are being encouraged to just dump their waste and the council will pick it up anyway, so we really need to get some sort of surveillance going down at the fairground car park where the waste lorry used to sit, and try and catch any perpetrators.”
He later warned: “Anybody caught fly-tipping will be subject to a £400 fine.”
Responding to Mr Edwards concerns, council leader Julia Potts said: “I’m sure the residents of Haslemere are law abiding citizens who wouldn’t carry out these sorts of actions, and if we do have issues suddenly appearing in Haslemere…we need to stamp on it straight away.”
It comes just weeks after Waverley proposed cutting the Wey Hill green waste collection service in a raft of cost-cutting budget proposals for 2017/18 in order to plug a £1.5 million deficit.
Supporting the cuts, Mr Edwards has previously said terminating the weekly waste collection would save the council £26,000 a year and it was “not fair” Godalming and Haslemere benefited from a free service not offered elsewhere in the borough.
But the move was fiercely criticised by Haslemere Town Council, which has written to Waverley leader Miss Potts, objecting to the “lack of consultation” before approving the cut,
The council has also complained about plans to close the public toilets in Haslemere High Street and cut back the services at The Edge Leisure Centre.
The town council protested: “The green waste lorry is a vital service for those people who do not have transport to take their green rubbish 13 miles to the recycling centre at Witley. To remove it will certainly result in more fly-tipping across the borough and it remains a vital local service.”
Somewhat ironically, Mr Edwards’ comments came just moments after Waverley’s leader suggested cases of fly-tipping spike in her native town of Farnham “on the day the amenity tip is closed”.