FLY-TIPPING in the Winchester district has reduced by 40 per cent, a recent meeting heard. 

Winchester City Council chiefs say the reduction is because of a new specialist fly-tipping officer and more cameras in hot spots. 

Despite this Cllr Neil Cutler, cabinet member for finance and performance, said that Hampshire County Council's proposals to close tips would see more incidents. 

At the full council meeting on February 22, Cllr Cutler said: “Fly-tipping across Hampshire increased when Hampshire County Council introduced charges for do-it-yourself materials and further increased massively across the whole county during the closure of tips over lockdown. 

“It seems highly likely that further closures and reduced opening hours of Hampshire waste recycling centres would add to the likelihood of increased fly-tipping across Hampshire.

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“We, in the Winchester district, suffered from an increase in fly-tipping incidents at a similar rate to our neighbouring authorities in 2020 and 2022, which is why we put in place a change to our strategy. We appointed a specialist fly-tipping officer with experience of evidence gathering and prosecution. This, along with the use of cameras and signage in hotspots, has resulted in a 40 per cent reduction in the number of incidents in 2022/2023. This reduction was the fifth highest in the country and by far the largest reduction in Hampshire. 

“In recent months, we have had three successful prosecutions resulting in substantial fines and criminal records for the perpetrators. 

“Obviously, we would like to see no fly-tipping and we will work to improve.”

As previously reported, Hampshire County Council is planning to save money by shutting several recycling centres, including Alresford, Bishop’s Waltham, Fair Oak and CAsbrook at Timsbury.

The council’s plan will also impact opening hours and days and change the type of waste accepted at other household waste recycling centres (HWRC). The county council predicts that the closure of the three tips, along with the Hayling Island and Hartley Wintney sites, would save approximately £500,000 per year.