New group formed to tackle fly-tipping following spate of incidents in Essex
- Credit: Archant
Farmers have joined forces with police and other bodies to tackle the scourge of fly-tipping in Essex following a recent spate of incidents.
A new group, under the umbrella of the Essex Rural Partnership, has been formed by the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), police, local authorities and the Environment Agency to combat the countryside blight.
The aim is to reduce fly-tipping in the county and increase convictions of those responsible.
In recent weeks lorry-loads of waste have been regularly dumped in about 20 locations across the county, including farm tracks, entrances to sewage pumping stations and telephone exchanges.
In many cases farmers have had to pay to clear up the waste, which is a mix of construction and demolition rubbish, with some household waste as well.
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NFU Essex county adviser Adam Scott said: “The NFU has worked hard with Essex Rural Partnership to establish this new group on industrial fly tipping.
“Our members have quite clearly had enough. Some farmers have had to pay over £10,000 in clear up costs. Others have been unable to plant crops because of the waste dumped across their fields and gates have been left open, allowing grazing animals to stray.
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“This fly-tipping is also damaging the countryside and creating a siege mentality, where gateways have to be blocked to keep the tippers out.
“It’s essential that we all work together to address this issue, including identifying and prosecuting those responsible for what is clearly organised criminal activity.”
The group held its first meeting at the NFU/NFU Mutual office in Chelmsford. Membership includes the Environment Agency, Essex Police and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, district councils, Essex County Council and Thurrock Unitary Authority, as well as the NFU.
Councillor Simon Walsh, the Essex County Council cabinet member responsible for environment and waste, was elected as chairman. He stressed the need for all organisations to work effectively to combat illegal waste disposal in the county.
This will include joint operations by the police, district councils and the Environment Agency to target illegal waste movements.