Fly-tipping is on the increase across the district – but a new report claims it is not the fault of controversial Council changes.

Bradford Council started demanding to see residents’ permits at tips in July last year and began charging for bulky waste collections in September.

Opponents claimed the unpopular changes dissuaded people from getting rid of their waste properly and had caused a rise in fly-tipping.

But a new report going before a Council scrutiny committee says this is not so.

Ian Bairstow, strategic director for environment and sport, reveals that fly-tipping reports were already rising by the time the changes were introduced.

In the April-June period last year, the number of complaints and the number of clean-ups were both up around 35 per cent on the previous year, the report says.

Conversely, the actual volume of rubbish being fly-tipped was down, suggesting a larger number of small offences.

And the report says there is no long-term increase, but that the problem is cyclical and usually goes up and down over time. The report will go before the Environment and Waste Management Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Tuesday.

Committee chairman Councillor Martin Love (Green) said they had specifically asked for the matter to be looked into because of complaints about the Council’s permit scheme.

He said: “The issue of the increase in fly-tipping had been raised with us. There was an implication it had come about because of the Council introducing permits at the tips.

“We have got the report now and obviously we will be discussing it next week.

“But it seems the number of fly-tipping reports was on the up long before the permits were introduced.”

He said the committee would also be keen to scrutinise the number of people successfully prosecuted by the Council for fly-tipping.

From April to October 2013, the Council conducted 437 investigations. It sent out 581 warning letters, handed out 86 fixed-penalty fines and prosecuted eight people.

Coun Love said the level of prosecutions hinged on what evidence the authority could gather against perpetrators.

He said: “You have got to be able to get hold of evidence. If the evidence is among the rubbish that has been dumped, that helps. And, obviously, if people are spotted, that makes the search easier.”