Plans to cut the hours of the town’s household waste site by 44 per cent have been slated by Watford politicians who fear it will lead to a dramatic rise in flytipping.

The county council has proposed reducing the opening hours of Waterdale Household Waste and Recycling Centre, including reduced hours at weekends and closure on Thursdays and Fridays.

They have also put forward proposals for the complete closure of the Elstree recycling centre - which has led to concerns this will increase the pressure at the Watford site.

Watford councillors said the plans, outlined in the county council’s consultation on household waste sites, made a "mockery" of past assurances the town would be well-provided for because of the two facilities.

Watford Borough Council passed a motion at the full council meeting on Wednesday night to respond formally to the household waste consultation opposing the proposals.

Liberal Democrat councillor Derek Scudder said more congestion around Waterdale, which is used by builders and contractors as well as residents, would put people off disposing of their rubbish in a responsible way.

He said: "There are already queues on the A405, these queues result in people not going to the tip.

"If people do come because the Elstree site is closed, it will increase the pressure on the Waterdale site. 

"This will increase residential waste going in black bins. The traffic will increase, and there is already very heavy traffic in this area. This will degrade the site for residents and it will be used much less subsequently."

Fellow Liberal Democrat Tim Williams feared the move would increase flytipping by 44 per cent.

He said: "I’m concerned closing Elstree and reducing Waterdale by 44 per cent will increase flytipping by 44 per cent.

"These proposals are short sighted. Waterdale is the most well used, accessible site. Reducing its hours will just be adding to black bins and landfill disposal.

"The county argument that residents will go 16 miles to the Rickmansworth site through some of the most congested roads in Hertfordshire doesn’t wash with me."

Labour councillor Nasreen Shah, who represents Vicarage, said flytipping as already a huge problem in her ward.

She said: "There is a huge flytipping in my ward. Sometimes you cannot even get through. There are mattresses left on the pavements. Isn’t it costing the council more to send out transport and staff to clear up the flytipping?"

But Conservative councillor Binita Mehta, representing Park, reminded the council the proposals were part of a consultation and not set in stone.

She said: "All residents have an opinion on this, it’s important everyone bring forward their views for this consultation."

A Labour-led ammendment to reinstate free bulky items collection was not carried.