A controversial permit scheme has driven up the levels of fly-tipping in the district “without a shadow of a doubt”, according to a senior councillor.
Bradford Council started demanding to see residents’ permits at tips in July last year in a bid to stop people from neighbouring districts using them. But Councillor Mike Ellis (Con, Bingley Rural), said it was clear turning people away from the sites had resulted in more people dumping their waste illegally.
He said: “It’s in their vehicle. What are they going to do about it, take it back?”
Coun Ellis, who has a background in waste management and sits on the Council’s environment and waste management overview and scrutiny committee, called for the scheme to be scrapped immediately.
Last week, the committee was presented with a Council report which said the permit scheme could not be blamed for an increase in fly-tipping. The report instead said the problem was cyclical, going up and down over time.
It revealed that while the number of complaints and the number of clean-ups were both up about 35 per cent on the previous year, the actual volume of rubbish being fly-tipped was down. But Coun Ellis poured scorn on this claim, saying: “Everybody in the district has eyes.” He also branded the Council’s figures “meaningless” as they did not include rubbish dumped on private land, which he suspected was on the up.
Coun Ellis gave the example of Birksland Street off Bowling Back Lane, where he estimated about 150 tonnes of waste had been dumped at various locations. He said sites like these would not be cleared up by Council staff and would therefore not be included in the official figures.
Councillor Andrew Thornton, executive member for the environment, said the Council’s figures showed the amount of fly-tipped waste being collected had fallen.
Coun Thornton said he was confident that these figures were an accurate barometer of the problem across the district. He said: “We have a great deal of the land across the district and all of the highways. To suggest that the Council would see a decrease when everyone else would see an increase isn’t a credible argument.”
Coun Thornton said early indications were that the permit scheme was having the desired effect by stopping people from other districts using the facilities, which would save the Bradford taxpayer money. He said: “It’s actually about saving money for the Council taxpayer.”