Sharp rise in flytipping costs Eastbourne £120,000

Illegal dumping is costing councils thousands each year.

Illegal dumping is costing councils thousands each year.

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Flytipping in Eastbourne has nearly doubled over the last three years costing the public more than £120,000 to clean-up.

Reports of flytipping rose from 1,172 in 2012/13 to 2,157 in 2014/15, a Freedom of Information request to Eastbourne Borough Council has revealed.

At the same time the cost of clearing illegally dumped rubbish has risen from £46,195 in 2012/13 to 121,977 in 2014/15 – a rise of £75,782 in just three years.

Despite the 164 per cent rise in flytipping since 2012/13, Eastbourne Borough Council has not prosecuted any flytippers during the same period.

In 2013/14 there were only 1,307 reports of flytipping at a cost of £66,202 to the council, 84 per cent less than 2014/15.

A spokesman for the council said, “In April 2013, we introduced an improved system of reporting incidences of fly-tipping across the town, including our own ‘Report-it app’. This has resulted in an increase in the number of reports and faster response times for clearances.

“Fly-tipping in Eastbourne tends to be domestic household items. In areas where this occurs we engage with people directly to encourage them to dispose of their waste responsibility or come forward with evidence about who is fly tipping.

“Fly-tipping is an offence that Eastbourne Borough Council takes extremely seriously and we will prosecute whenever there is evidence or a witness statement.

“Anyone with any information about incidents of fly-tipping should contact the Council’s Neighbourhood First team at Customerfirst@eastbourne.gov.uk or on 01323 410000.”

The information comes as part of a Freedom of Information request sent to 201 local authorities in England.

While the figures showed a national rise in 2014/15 – 529,462 cases up from 527,777 the previous year – the rise in Eastbourne is well above the national average.

Elsewhere in East Sussex the amount of flytipping has stayed relatively low and costs most authorities less than it did three years ago.

Wealden District council reported 596 incidents in 2014/15 a slight rise from 455 in 2012/13 and down from 642 in 2013/14.

Despite increase in reports, costs of clearing-up flytipping in Wealden has fallen to £22,157 – the lowest in three years.

Wealden has made nine prosecutions for flytipping over the last three years.

Lewes district council has seen flytipping fall year-on-year falling to just 171 reports in 2014/15 down from 267 in 2013/14 and 578 in 2012/13.

The cost of tipping in Lewes is £76,761 in 2014/15 down from £90,707 the year before.

Lewes have only made a single prosecution in the last three years.

Part of the national rise is thought to be down to people moving house more often, with figures showing 2.6 million households had recently moved in 2013/2014, or 11 per cent of all households, the highest proportion since 2007/2008.

Nationally the number of prosecutions for fly-tipping also rose last year, up from 982 in 2013/2014 to 1,216 in 2014/2015, the information from the councils show.

Elsewhere, councils are using a number of measures to tackle the problem, including investigating rubbish for evidence of where it came, using CCTV and hidden cameras, running patrols with police and education campaigns to warn residents they are responsible for where their waste ends up.

Some are also providing one-off skips for dumping domestic items in problem areas or free bulky waste collections for households.

But the Local Government Association also wants extra powers for councils to be able to issue on-the-spot fines known as fixed penalty notices for some fly-tipping cases, such as dumping pieces of broken furniture, old televisions and mattresses.

Peter Box, the Local Government Association’s environment spokesman, said 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 said, “All the figures show the huge amount of effort local authorities put into preventing and tackling fly-tipping is having a real impact,”

“But new powers would ensure councils can go even further in addressing what is often not just an eyesore, but also a serious public health risk, creating pollution and attracting vermin.”

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