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Fly-tip menace soars by a quarter in wake of new waste permit
Fly-tipping complaints have increased by nearly a quarter since a controversial permit system came into force this year.
From January 1 to June 30, Bradford Council received 2,725 complaints, an average of 105 per week. But in the three months since the permit was introduced, from July 1 to September 30, 1,690 complaints were received by the Council, an average of 130 complaints per week – an increase of 23.8 per cent.
Since June, locals have had to prove they are Bradford Council Tax-payers by showing a residents’ permit before they can dump rubbish at waste recycling plants.
The permit scheme, brought in by the Labour-run authority, was labelled as “hare-brained” and “costly control-freakery” by other political group leaders at the time.
Now the head of the scrutiny committee on the Council looking into environmental issues will ask members if an investigation into the problem needs to be started.
This year’s increases come on the back of figures showing that fly-tipping complaints rose by more than 17 per cent in the previous two years. Figures released by the Council show that 7,919 complaints about fly-tipping and littering were reported in 2010 compared to 9,321 in 2012.
Shipley Councillor Martin Love (Green), the chairman of the environment and waste management overview and scrutiny committee on the Council, said that he would be speaking to fellow members tomorrow to see whether the increase needed investigating when they have their usual meeting.
But he warned against “knee-jerk reactions” and blaming the problem on permits being introduced without hard evidence.
“The permits take 30 seconds to apply for,” he said. “But given these figures I will ask members of the committee to see if they want to have a look at this if figures are as bad as that.
“This is something we should be having a look at. These figures are obviously a worry.
“There could be other reasons behind the trend if numbers are going up anyway. It could be a reduction in enforcement or all sorts of other issues, rather than having a knee-jerk reaction and jumping to conclusions.
“I think we need to look at all conditions and what else could be causing the spike if the figures are going up anyway.”
Councillor Jeanette Sunderland, the Liberal Democrat group leader, added: “These permits encourage fly-tipping because people think they cannot go because they haven’t got the permit.
“There is no reason why people shouldn’t be dumping their rubbish in their kerbside collections. But some people think they can’t go into the tip so dump on the side of the road. They haven’t got a permit and this is exactly what we predicted would happen.
“I expect the environment scrutiny committee to pull this in and crawl all over it. It is a complete waste of money.
“They think they are saving money by stopping people from Leeds and elsewhere dumping in Bradford, but all this is doing is seeing people dump rubbish in the streets when they get here.”
A Council spokesman said: “With respect to Environmental Health complaints about fly-tipping and littering, yes, the numbers are increasing. We are encouraging people to report things to us – the Telegraph & Argus ran the details of a campaign that we carried out encouraging the reporting of ASB just last year.
“The actions taken by the Environmental Enforcement team to tackle fly-tipping are manifold, and include: stop and search operations (to identify those carrying waste without a waste carriers licence), duty of care inspections (to ensure that those who produce waste have an appropriate means of disposing of it), investigations and service of Statutory notices to enforce removal of fly-tipped waste and investigations and prosecutions.”
Coun David Green, the leader of Bradford Council, said that he would not comment until he had discussed the figures with Environmental Health.
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