Anger over region's fly-tipping figures

ENVIRONMENT campaigners and council bosses last night called for fly tippers to be hit with fines of thousands of pounds - after it emerged illegal rubbish dumping was costing taxpayers in Suffolk and Essex more than £400,000 a year.

ENVIRONMENT campaigners and council bosses last night called for fly tippers to be hit with fines of thousands of pounds - after it emerged illegal rubbish dumping was costing taxpayers in Suffolk and Essex more than £400,000 a year.

Each day there are about 20 fly-tipping incidents reported across Suffolk and north Essex costing £54 per incident on average to clear up.

The figures last night prompted the Countryside Alliance to warn that the scale of the fly-tipping problem is ruining the region's prized rural areas.

According to figures obtained by the alliance, those living in Waveney and St Edmundsbury are Suffolk's worst offenders, with 962 and 598 reports between 2005/2006 respectively.


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Taxpayers in Waveney are spending more than £60,000 each year clearing up other people's fly-tipped rubbish.

In Essex, Braintree has four times the number of incidents of any of its neighbouring authorities with more than 2,100 cases recorded in a single year.

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In total, there were 3,193 cases in Suffolk and 4,178 in mid and north Essex.

Countryside Alliance chief executive Simon Hart said: “Many people believe that fly-tipping is something they can get away with and that the victim is faceless. That is nonsense.

“If you fly-tip on private land the owners get the stress of clearing it up and the bill. If you fly-tip on public land the taxpayer gets the bill.

“In both instances, as well as breaking the law, you are ruining the beauty of the countryside for everyone.”

Eddie Alcock, Suffolk County Council's portfolio holder for the environment, called for a major hike in fines to act as a deterrent to fly-tippers.

He said: “It needs to be a more rigorous fine. A couple of grand would discourage people.”

He added there was no excuse for dumping rubbish given there are 18 county council-run waste and recycling centres in the county.

Richard Ward, director of the Suffolk Preservation Society, said the problem of fly-tipping could in part be solved by products being designed better in terms of later environmental impact.

He said: “New white goods, like new modern housing, should be quality designed, eco-friendly and much longer lasting, with the cost of disposal built into the equation at the outset.

“The last owner is often the least able to afford to dispose of the goods and our lovely Suffolk countryside deserves not to be their dumping ground.”

The scale of the problem has been revealed as Forest Heath District Council launches a blitz on abandoned vehicles, fly tipping, truancy, litter and graffiti in various parts of the district.

A spokeswoman for Braintree District Council said: “Braintree District Council takes fly tipping very seriously.

“Residents are also encouraged to report fly tipping so that action can be taken, which increases the number dealt with.

“The council is also rigorous in following the guidelines on what constitutes fly tipping. For example large bin bags put out early for collection would be considered fly tipping.”

Number of fly-tipping incidents recorded in 2005/2006 by local authority area and the associated clear up costs:

Suffolk:

Suffolk Coastal 388 £14,084

Babergh 342 £17,146

Forest Heath 486 £27,468

Ipswich 376 £19,168

Mid Suffolk 41 (based on two months' figures) £2,061

St Edmundsbury 598 £30,264

Waveney 962 £66,839

Essex:

Braintree 2,181 £125,612

Chelmsford 517 £36,539

Colchester 141 £5,206

Maldon 576 £23,746

Tendring 523 £22,239

Uttlesford 240 £10,328

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