Woodside Councillor calls for action on fly tipping epidemic
A Woodside town councillor has launched a petition today calling for the bulky waste collection charge, set by Telford & Wrekin Council, to be scrapped for residents to help address a fly-tipping "epidemic".
Figures revealed today show that Woodside was the borough's fly-tipping hot spot in 2019 with 689 incidents reported. This is 43 times higher (per resident) than other areas, such as Apley Castle.
A Freedom of Information request by Liberal Democrat Councillor Greg Spruce revealed that fly tipping reports in Woodside have increased by 26% since 2018, but Fixed Penalty Notices across the borough have dropped by 50% in the last 12 months, with only 14 issued in 2019 compared to 28 in 2018.
Woodside Councillor Greg Spruce emphasised:
"It is clear there is a fly-tipping 'epidemic' in Woodside. The Labour-controlled Council is not getting to grips with the issue here or in other estates in South Telford. Fixed Penalty Notices issued are minuscule across the borough, and proving to be a haphazard and ineffective deterrent.
"I am reporting multiple items fly-tipped weekly around Woodside. As soon as it is cleared, new items are tipped. It's awful, and many residents are sick to death of having to see rubbish dumped daily."
Cllr Spruce has written to Cllr Richard Overton, the cabinet member for Neighbourhood Services, Enforcement & The Pride Programme, requesting a rethink on the bulky waste collection charge. The letter proposes that those in receipt of benefits, or over 60, no longer be charged for bulky item collections, up to a maximum of three collections per year (and of no more than three items at a time). Cllr Spruce also wants to see signage around fly tipping hot-spots put up warning people that they will be caught.
Lib Dem Cllr Spruce commented:
"With 34% of residents in Woodside not having access to a car (2011 census) and 71% of households in some form of deprivation, even with a discount, the charge is too expensive for many and has seen the rise in mattresses, fridges being dumped on streets and green areas. I have reported over 90 cases this year alone"
Figures released in 2018 by the Local Government Association (LGA) show that Telford and Wrekin Council spent £246,800 dealing with fly-tipping.
Cllr Spruce continued:
"The LGA are absolutely right that councils need more funding and greater powers to deal with fly-tipping, which has reached crisis point in Woodside, as well as other places like Brookside, Malinslee and Hollinswood".
Telford & Wrekin Liberal Democrats support calls to urge the Government to review funding for local authorities. Cllr Spruce stressed that whilst Government underfunding plays a part, Telford & Wrekin Council cannot escape responsibility.
"For years, the Council has ignored the outcry from residents up in arms about the state of their local streets. They have also introduced, and increased, charges for bulky waste collections. Removing these charges would help residents do the right thing, and dispose of large items responsibly".
A petition has been launched by Cllr Greg Spruce calling on immediate action to tackle the fly tipping crisis.
You can also follow Cllr Spruce on Facebook to keep up-to-date with the campaign.