The issue of fly tipping in Hampshire
PUBLISHED: 15:49 12 November 2015 | UPDATED: 15:57 12 November 2015
More than £1.4 million has been spent on fly tipping in Hampshire in the last three years - Alice Cooke is appalled
Just think what we could have done with that money – our schools, our parks, our transport links could have been improved. But instead we have had to fork out nearly one and a half million pounds on cleaning up after people too lazy to go to the tip. It’s an outrage.
Furthermore, in that same three year period there have only been 23 prosecutions. Is this because it is too hard to catch the culprits, or are the authorities just turning a blind eye? Either way, this isn’t good enough.
Facts and figures released as a result of a recent Freedom of Information request show that councils across the county are grappling with fly-tipping, and are forced to spend tens of thousands of pounds each and every year.
Interestingly, the information showed that numbers were highest in Southampton, where the council has spent £565,856 in the last three years dealing with 19,512 reports – to put that in some perspective, that’s one incident of fly-tipping for every 45 residents. Yet only on two occasions has anyone been held to account through prosecution in that time.
Winchester and New Forest residents have less rubbish eyesores to put up with than most, with the lowest number of incidents per person for 2014 in the country – five per 1,000 people. And to be fair the figures from Southampton City Council did show that fly-tipping incidents dropped from 7,819 in 2012/2013 to 5,490 last year, with costs also dropping from £229,578 to £159,017. But while that is admirable, is it good enough? And should the figures have been so high in the first place?
At Eastleigh Borough Council, incidents have more than doubled in three years, rising from 255 in 2012/2013 to 612 last year. Of the councils that submitted figures, the amount spent on fly-tipping in Hampshire totals £1,434,234. What a load of rubbish.
At least five councils across the county have not prosecuted anybody in the last three years. Part of the national rise in dumping is thought to be down to people moving house more often and the low cost of household goods.
Peter Box, the Local Government Association’s environment spokesman, said that local authorities were “spending tens of millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money a year on fly-tipping, which could be better spent on other services.”
He wants councils to be given extra powers to issue on-the-spot fines, saving councils the expense and time of court.
Southampton City Council’s cabinet member for environment Jacqui Rayment said the council was “putting resources into dealing with fly-tipping but in many cases it was difficult to prove who had dumped the rubbish, particularly if there was nothing that would identify where it had come from and in areas of multi-house occupancy like the city centre.” She also called on the public to play its part by giving information about incidents and who was responsible. And yes we all want to catch the culprits, but this isn’t actually our job, it’s theirs. We’re basically being called upon because they aren’t doing a good enough job. Is that really good enough?
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