Calderdale Council’s vow in fight against fly-tipping

Peter Davies at the site of fly tipping at the side of Thornhills Beck Lane, Brighouse.
Peter Davies at the site of fly tipping at the side of Thornhills Beck Lane, Brighouse.

Calderdale Council insists it is doing everything it can to prevent fly-tipping after residents demanded more action to stop the scourge.

The Courier has been made aware of rubbish being dumped at the side of Thornhill Beck Lane in Brighouse, and of rubbish being regularly left around Swales Moor Road, above Boothtown, and around Queensbury.

Peter Davies at the site of fly tipping at the side of Thornhills Beck Lane, Brighouse.

Peter Davies at the site of fly tipping at the side of Thornhills Beck Lane, Brighouse.

Peter Davies, who lives near Thornhill Beck Lane, and is a footpaths officer for Brighouse Civic Trust, said: “There was a fence there to stop this kind of thing happening. What people visiting the area must think I don’t know. It’s a terrible mess.”

Peter says fly-tipping is a regular occurrence at the site and at other locations nearby, and disputes the council’s claim in the Courier earlier this month that fly-tipping is decreasing.

“It’s been going on for years. It stopped for a time when the fence was put up.

“I don’t know where it’s coming from.

Peter Davies at the site of fly tipping at the side of Thornhills Beck Lane, Brighouse.

Peter Davies at the site of fly tipping at the side of Thornhills Beck Lane, Brighouse.

“On November 24, I reported through the council website the deteriorating state of the fly tipping at the side of Thornhills Beck Lane.

“I received a reply to the effect that the council did not know where it was.

“I explained the situation again to them by e-mail and no action has been taken to clear up the mess. I received an e-mail from street scene in December and I informed them that no action had been taken.

“The fly tipping consists of matresses, black plastic sacks, clothing and furniture. It is on both sides of the lane in the vicinity of the disused railway viaduct.

“Below the viaduct is a stream which feeds into Clifton Beck which feeds into the River Calder. I am concerned that pollution from the fly tipping could be entering the stream.”

Keeley Johnson, from the Friends of Queensbury High Street group, said: “As well as the regular litter picks, we are regularly made aware of fly tips around Queensbury. This appears to be a big issue as photographs of fly tipped rubbish are posted on social media weekly. One of the most frequently used areas is Swales Moor Road. There have been reports of beds, prams, car seats, rubble and oil drums.

“The area may be popular due to it being secluded. There have been no reports of any prosecutions of people that have fly tipped in that area.

“The courts have the power to imprison and fine persecutors. Unfortunately I do not think this is a strong enough deterrent as not enough persecutors are caught. Perhaps CCTV and number plate recognition could be used to identify the offenders and bring them to justice.”

Dee Weaver, a committee member of the Halifax Civic Trust, said: “Fly tipping is certainly a big problem in Halifax, and I feel it’s getting worse.

“One major reason for this is the fees Calderdale Council charge, and their arbitrary designation of what is and is not domestic waste.

“They clearly have the means to collect waste, so perhaps they should make it a bit easier for residents to use the service.

“I believe that people are deterred by the council’s charges, and that’s what leads to fly-tipping – or at least contributes to it in no small measure.

“Surely it is more cost-effective for them to make collections on their own schedule rather than turning out whenever fly-tipping is reported.”

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhood Services, Coun Susan Press, said: “The council does all it can to stop fly-tipping and will not hesitate to prosecute those responsible.

“It’s too early to assess if instances of fly tipping have increased or decreased since the introduction of changes at our Household Waste Recycling Centres at the end of November, but early indications are that there has been no impact.

“Our work to tackle fly tipping goes beyond clearing the waste and identifying the culprits, we’re also working on educating people more about the impact of littering and fly tipping. The Council and the Community Foundation for Calderdale’s Don’t Muck About campaign is all about encouraging residents to feel pride in their surroundings and helping people realise that there are consequences of litter other than just how it looks.

If people do witness fly tipping, in all cases, having as much information as possible helps to bring successful prosecutions, so the Council is urging people to come forward if they witness any fly tipping. The following details are required:

• The day, date, time and location of the fly tipping

• A description of any people involved

• What was fly tipped and how much

• Details of any vehicle involved, including registration number, colour, make and model

You can report fly tipping through the online form at www.calderdale.gov.uk or by calling the Council confidentially on 01422 288001.