RESIDENTS near Winchester have been left confused after a strange move from the city council.

The car park of the Tesco store in Harestock, on Priors Dean Road, is usually home to clothes recycling bins in aid of The Salvation Army and Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance Service.

Last week Winchester City Council appeared to have removed them and replaced them with their own which do not list any benefitting charities.

Dave Fountain, of Littleton and Harestock Parish Council, said people were unsure as to why this had happened.

He said: “I used to go down to Hampshire Air Ambulance because it is a worthy cause. If ever we had a big clear out that is where we would put all of our clothes, but now I don’t have a choice and have to put them in a council recycling bin.”

Winchester City Council said the bins are designed to guarantee charities match or exceed the income they currently generate, with the surplus being used to support community projects.

When the scheme was first introduced, leader of the council, Cllr Keith Wood, said: “We believe we can create a win-win situation so that everyone benefits. I would like to stress that our charities will not be a penny out of pocket - indeed they may gain income. But the scheme will also give us the resource to direct money to charity and community causes much closer to home.

“We are determined to make our recycling services a success and this is an easy and obvious way to do it.”