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Cost target ‘binned’ as free skips project continues

By Globe Correspondent Sue Desbois

NICE bright day – if a tad blowy.  No cars queuing to get into the car park and, with the skips being located at the back, it was very easy to enter.

I got there at 09.40 and/but people were already throwing stuff into the three skips.  I say ‘and/but’ because the advertised time is 10am till 2pm – or whenever the 3+1 skips are full.

And here we are, well before 10 and it is already happening.  I will have to get to the site even earlier to be able to ascertain the actual start time.

I don’t have any specific dumpers to tell you about.  Not as charismatic an event as Elson Rec, maybe? So here is a timeline of observations.  I will say that it was either better organised than last week, or the layout of the venue made it easier for people to get in-dump-get out.

09:40 – arrived to see people already dumping into three skips.  Lots of large vans and people with trailers.

09:46 – Leader of the Council [Peter Chegwyn] arrived.  Another councillor was already in attendance and a couple of Streetscene operatives plus skip minders.

09:52 – one skip almost full, can only fit in small items or pour soil into spaces.

10:00 – second skip almost full.

10:03 – and the third.

10:13 – overheard a conversation saying that it was touch and go whether the driver might refuse the removal of skip/s, as he might deem it to be an unsafe load.

10:15 – two more councillors arrive.  Only the odd brick and small items being added.  Certainly nowhere near as busy as last week.

10:22 – another call, that there were five skips reserved, in total, and was it possible to add another making it sic, (the same as last week).

10:29 – skip truck arrives with two more.  Not a lot of room to manoeuvre.

10:34 – first replacement down.

10:35 – people arrived, seemingly on foot, with items to dump and had to wait – H&S issues.

10:39 – second skip in place.

Shortly after, I left.  Returning at 12:18 I saw three skips, seemingly full but not overly stuffed.  There was no activity in that area of the carpark, except for six people in HiViz coats lined up.

So… with six skips last week, and another five this week (I can only say what I saw, which was three originally plus another two) that means that the costs have already exceeded those passed by the council, by around £900 for the first two weeks – being three extra at £300 per skip, as a guesstimated figure.

On a final note.  Don’t Gosport Borough Council have any yellow HiViz coats, waistcoats or gilets for their councillors to wear when they are at events?  I only ask as they all wore waistcoats with Event Staff, and underneath, Out&About.  Why?  I couldn’t find any company of that name, but maybe I didn’t look in the right places?

PICTURED: Staff enjoy sunshine in second weekend of free skips scheme on Saturday morning in Gosport.