Earlier this week, I was up in front of the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee to give an account of progress made on projects in the first year of Test Valley’s Corporate Action Plan (CAP). The CAP is the working document underneath the Corporate Plan, which is essentially council speak for delivering the people’s priorities. Priorities that came out of a significant piece of public consultation and engagement work we undertook at the beginning of last year - and endorsed by residents at last year’s borough council elections.

It includes specific projects on regenerating our town centres; ensuring people have a decent place to live and work; creating and maintaining first class green spaces, play parks and nature reserves; boosting biodiversity; countering climate change and helping people through the cost of living challenges. Whilst we’ve made great progress on these, one element of frustration though is the delay in the rollout of a new waste service. Especially as we had previously agreed plans to introduce weekly food waste collections from 2024, as well as the introduction of a new 1,2,3 Weekly, waste and recycling collection system.

Last year, whilst we were planning for our service changes, the Government announced ‘Simpler Recycling’. This was an unexpected change in policy direction at a national level. The announcement meant that the new county-wide twin stream system was no longer an absolute requirement and other options could be considered. A Government consultation followed, which we responded to but we’re still waiting for the outcome. As a result of ‘Simpler Recycling’, it is likely we will be able introduce a fully comingled waste collection system. This means all recyclable materials, including glass, will be contained within one bin, making recycling much easier for residents. I’m keen to see the changes to waste happen ASAP, but we’re having to wait for the Government’s response before Hampshire Districts and the County Council can develop a waste collection and disposal system that meets the legislative requirements.

As I reflected at the Scrutiny Committee meeting this week. This situation is frustrating for everyone but I’m hopeful that the consultation response will be published shortly and that the county-wide decision will be made this summer. I will, of course, keep readers informed of progress.


Cllr Phil North


Leader of Test Valley Borough Council

Bourne Valley Ward Councillor

County Councillor for Andover South