SOME restrictions are to be lifted on visits to Hampshire household waste recycling centres from Monday.

Hampshire County Council at a meeting last night agreed to lift the 'one visit per week' limit for residents using one of its 24 household waste recycling centres (HWRCs).

Winchester MP Steve Brine had been calling for all restrictions to be lifted but the council, controlled by the same party, has declined to do that. Ironically the Tory-controlled council has the support of the Lib Dem opposition which favoured some controls, such as the booking system.

Mr Brine said the retained controls were an example of "mission creep and restrictions, kept in place to benefit the operator not the users who pay for the service".

In an announcement made at a meeting of the Full County Council yesterday, Cllr Rob Humby, deputy leader, confirmed the decision.

He said: “We have listened to residents and believe that now we are further into the pandemic recovery phase, and entering a time of year when, historically, demand for site visits starts to reduce, the time is now right to increase opportunities to access household waste recycling centres. I am pleased to confirm that from 4 October, residents will no longer be limited to one visit per week. While the requirement to book visits online will remain in place for, at least, the time being, residents will be able to book visits to suit their needs. I would ask residents to make the most of each visit and separate out items for reuse and recycling to help us reduce the amount of waste that has to be disposed of.

“By making this move now, as we are about to enter winter operating hours, we can ensure that the demand during reduced opening times, can be met.”

The new arrangement will be effective from Monday, October 4. While there will be no limit on the number of bookings per week, the county council requests any bookings made which later are not required, are cancelled so that they can be given to others.

Lib Dem Cllr Martin Tod, spokesman for economy, transport and enviroment, said: "I was originally a booking system sceptic, but it's clear that it's got good support in most of the county, particularly where there has historically been a problem with queues."