WINCHESTER civic chiefs have defended their worsening record on recycling by saying it is part of a national trend.

Cllr Jan Warwick, portfolio holder for environment, blamed a fall in the amount of newspapers being recycled.

"However the city council's latest recycling rate for 2015/16 of 34.57 per cent still compares favourably with our neighbouring authorities and we were third best performing authority of 13 in Hampshire."

One problem the council is trying to tackle is contamination of materials through better education of householders.

In answer to a question at full Council from Cllr Sue Cook, Cllr Warwick said the council supports the Hampshire-wide Project Integra Partnership which is looking at increasing the number of materials that can be recycled on the kerbside, investing in processing facilities and finding new markets for re-use.