County council cuts blamed for flytipping

Joseph Bulmer

CUTS made to Devon County Council’s waste recycling centres had brought a huge increase in flytipping and extra costs for Torridge District Council, a local councillor has said.

In March the county council announced that it was going to start charging residents for certain waste taken to household waste recycling centres across Devon.

This affected Torridge centres at Anvil Corner in Holsworthy, Deep Moor in Torrington and Caddsdown in Bideford.

Clovelly Bay councillor Adam Symons, the district council’s lead member for recycling and waste at the time, said that three months into the scheme the district’s fears had become reality as flytipping involving materials covered by these new charges had increased by almost 700%.

The number of fly-tipping incidences involving materials now being charged for through the new scheme has increased from three to 20 incidents during April to June compared to the same three months in 2010.

Mr Symons said: “The county council did not bother to consult Torridge before they designed and implemented the scheme. When we found out that they were making these changes, through a member of the public, we wrote to warn the county council of the unintended consequences of their actions. They did not listen to us.

“Since then, the level of fly-tipping of these items has shot through the roof and we have been forced to pick up the tab. We have seen extra flytipping in Clovelly Bay, as only a few weeks ago we had a shower base and associated building materials dumped in the local hedgerows. It shows a remarkable lack of foresight by the county council. They have cut public services to save money, only for the costs to be incurred by another local authority.”

Latest figures for North Devon Council show incidents of flytipping also rising.

After having fallen in both the previous years - from 174 in 2008 to 124 in 2009 and 109 in 2010 - this year they have climbed back to 128.

Cllr Rodney Cann, NDC deputy leader and lead member for the environment, said: “It is too soon to draw firm conclusions, but it does look as though charging is a factor in the increase.”