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A NEW waste scheme is being considered to tackle unsightly mess from commercial bins in the heart of Winchester.

Councillors Ian Tait and Fiona Mather have been long-term campaigners that have raised awareness of the issue of trade bins cluttering the city centre.

In a council meeting it was heard there is a commercial waste pilot considered for central Winchester, which comes after councillors heard a presentation about a similar scheme by Westminster City Council.

Portfolio holder for environment, councillor Jan Warwick described the presentation as, "inspiring" and updated councillors on what stage a potential scheme is at.

She said: "The presentation from Westminster City Council was certainly thought-provoking and provided plenty of ideas as to how we might be able to address the difficult issue of commercial waste storage in the centre of town.

"However what was clear is that we need to work with various partners if we are to develop new proposals to tackle this issue so our officers have been engaged in constructive discussions with Hampshire County Council, as the highway authority, and Business Improvement District.

"We have also been gathering data over the last couple of weeks so we can identify where problems are most evident.

"Once we have completed this preliminary work we will be looking to bring forward proposals for a pilot scheme.”

Cllr Mather asked a supplementary question about how will breaches of waste storage can be enforced in the city.

Cllr Warwick replied: " I think a partnership approach, working with the businesses to really improve the High Street's vista. The county council will be with us every step of the way."

Councillor Rob Humby, who is also on the county council, said: " What we need to do across the county is have consistent approach to it. We can help our local businesses but also make it very clear that we will enforce."

When asked for a timeframe on the pilot scheme, Cllr Warwick replied it could run from mid-May onwards.