Shocking figures reveal more than 3,000 fly tipping incidents in Calderdale

There were more than 3,000 incidents of fly-tipping in Calderdale last year as the council explores as many ways as possible to prevent it.
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Calderdale councillors have agreed to extend ways to deal with the problem, including some which have had some success at councils in other parts of the country.

There is cross-party support for dealing with the issue which blights the borough and costs the council to clean up.

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At the meeting of the full Calderdale Council – re-convened from a postponed meeting early in February – councillors backed a Liberal Democrat motion, incorporating a Labour amendment, to do this.

Fly tipping in HalifaxFly tipping in Halifax
Fly tipping in Halifax

A Conservative amendment calling for the issue to be further examined by one of the council’s scrutiny boards was defeated.

Coun Steven Leigh (Con, Ryburn) stressed his group supported other measures which might be considered – fly-tipping was a scourge on the borough – but felt a special session was required.

Coun Josh Fenton-Glynn (Lab, Calder) said approving the motion put by Coun Amanda Parsons-Hulse (Lib Dem, Warley) did not preclude scrutiny boards going back to the issue anyhow.

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The motion recognises the council alone can achieve success in curbing littering – the public, businesses and other partners all have to be involved, including developing a “litter champions” scheme.

Coun Parsons-Hulse also highlighted schemes that have worked in the London borough of Newham, which had been successful in reducing fly-tipping.

“Fly-tipping is a major issue that we are all experiencing across the borough – there were over 3,000 fly-tips in Calderdale last year and only 12 offenders (dealt with).

“I am so pleased to hear we have caught one of the major offenders,” she said.

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Coun Parsons-Hulse said Newham had succeeded in reducing the amount of fly-tipped rubbish by 42 per cent.

Measures they used ranged from using crime scene tape around tipping and leaving the tape for several days and a stencil saying the council knew what this was and saying how much it cost to clean up.

“So you are basically letting people know this is where our Council Tax goes, this is how much it costs to our borough.

“It is a huge cost to our borough,” she said.

Coun Parsons-Hulse said in Newham 46 per cent of residents said this messaging would make them think twice about what they did with unwanted furniture, and residents there were managing their waste better.

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Coun Paul Bellenger (Lib Dem, Greetland and Stainland) said a few years ago there were about 1,200 incidents a year costing the council around £172,000 to clear up.

He said the council also needed to make it easier for people to dispose of household waste – for example if they were doing work on their home.

This was classed as trade waste if taken to a waste centre but they were not “trade”, he said.

“There are little things we need to tweak,” said Coun Bellenger.

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Coun Mohammed Fazal (Lab, Park) said education on tipping had to be stepped up and making sure people took a pride in their neighbourhood.

Supporting the Conservative amendment, Coun Howard Blagbrough (Con, Brighouse) said he chaired the council’s Adult, Health and Social Care Scrutiny Board and a single issue session had proved very fruitful.

Coun Stephen Baines (Con, Northowram and Shelf) said the council needed to prosecute more cases and highly publicise the results to deter people from fly-tipping.

“It’s got to be some hard penalties for those people who are ruining our greener areas – we should be taking a much harder line,” he said.

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Leader of the Council, Coun Tim Swift (Lab, Town), said: “This will continue to be raised with great regularity at scrutiny because everyone feels so strongly about it – the whole far wider debate remains.”

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