Brent suffers the highest increase in fly-tipping in England
PUBLISHED: 17:39 01 September 2015 | UPDATED: 20:16 01 September 2015
Brent has suffered the highest year-on-year increase in fly-tipping incidents in the country, according to figures released today.
The number of illegal dumping on the borough’s streets between 2013/14 and 2014/15 has surged by 84 per cent – the most recorded by a local authority in England.
The borough topped the shame chart, complied using Freedom of Information requests by the Press Association, despite the town hall offering a free bulky goods collection service to residents.
But earlier this year the council introduced a £30 annual fee for the collection of garden waste from residents’ homes which critics claim will encourage fly-tipping as people avoid the ‘green tax’.
Alison Hopkins, a former Lib Dem councillor in Dollis Hill, has been calling for the council to take great measures against fly-tippers.
She told the Times: “This is no surprise to those of us who live with the council’s incompetence and failures to do the most basic tasks like tackle fly-tipping.
“They claim it’s getting better but this shows it’s not.
“Today I saw six mattresses dumped on the streets plus dozens of garden waste.
“They need to get some real enforcement and real action in place before Brent disappears under a mound of rubbish.”
In its war against fly-tippers the council has rolled out several campaigns including advertising drive warning culprits that they faced fines of up to £50,000.
They have also named and shamed businesses and residents convicted of illegal dumping, and launched a smartphone app where residents can report fly-tipping incidents.
In addition, the council switched the use of their controversial CCTV mobile cars from catching motorists to targeting illegal dumpers after the then Communities Secretary Eric Pickles banned the vehicles from being used to snoop on drivers last year.
Despite the measures, angry and frustrated residents regularly upload photographs of fly-tipping incidents on social networking website Twitter.
A spokesman for Brent Council said: “Brent has seen this increase in reports of fly-tipping due to improvements in the way in which fly-tipping can be reported, such as through our new mobile app and by operational crews now recording data using handheld devices.”
Cllr Sam Stopp, Labour councillor for Wembley Central, is currently gathering resident’s thoughts on fly-tipping in the borough for a report which be discussed at a Brent Scrutiny Committee in November
He said: “The blight of illegal dumping across our borough is a physical reminder of the challenge we face to retain community spirit and good services in the face of government cuts.
“It is time we looked seriously at rooting out this problem and cleaning up Brent once and for all.”
To contact Cllr Stopp email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07721 233 038.