OUT IN THE FIELD: Flytipping, digging up historic pavements and running out of petrol

I am somewhat gobsmacked at reading the story on page 12 this week that there is ‘no absolute link’ between changes at rubbish tips and a rise in flytipping. Officials are quoted as saying the rise in flytipping across East Sussex has nothing to do with the introduction of charges at the county’s Household Waste and Recycling Sites.

Tuesday, 6th April 2021, 5:10 pm
Updated Tuesday, 6th April 2021, 5:12 pm
The original Wombles performing on Top of the Pops in the 1970s
The original Wombles performing on Top of the Pops in the 1970s

I am not sure which planet these officials have been living on but it certainly isn’t the one I roam around shaking my head in despair at the rubbish that is being dumped on our roadsides and green and pleasant land.

In my humble opinion, the reasons people are dumping rubbish wherever they feel like it are twofold. Firstly the household waste sites aren’t open long enough – especially at the weekend. A friend of mine queued for almost an hour to get into the ‘tip’ this week as it was so busy. Others are not so patient.

And secondly if you throw into the mix that you are likely to be charged for dropping off your non-household waste, a picture begins to emerge that ends with bags of rubble and assorted goods being dumped in country lanes or any empty field. Or even a rather large rabbit hutch which has appeared alongside the roadside on Golden Jubilee Way – the exact spot where my fellow Womble Women and I had cleared last week.

PAving bricks dug up in Meads SUS-210104-140817001

Incidentally, a handful of people got in touch to ask why we had our knuckles rapped. The authorities warned us we were risking life and limb next to a busy road and suggested my wombling colleagues and I should not be putting ourselves in such a high risk position.

I had to reluctantly agree but, however, both Eastbourne and Wealden councils are looking into the problem of litter along that particularly busy stretch of the A27 and hopefully soon Kier, the Highways England contractors, will be able to close the lane to clear it. Fingers and litterpickers crossed.

A small campaign is gaining momentum after it was revealed contractors had dug up perfect 100 year-old historic paving in Meads and other areas of the town and replaced it with ugly black tarmac. The lovely blocks have not been reseated and as a result, people are asking how this can be regarded as preserving heritage in a conservation area. The Eastbourne Society is on the case. As are we.

Some drivers in Eastbourne town centre will have received a shock this week as – after weeks of parking irresponsibly on dangerous corners and in disabled bays in Cornfield Road – the lines were painted by East Sussex Highways contractors which allow the parking wardens to finally issue penalty notices to offenders who flout the restrictions.

And finally this week, I made a schoolgirl error and ran out of petrol on my way to the garage at the back of ASDA on Tuesday lunchtime. There then followed a frantic rush to the store to see if they sold Jerry cans – they don’t – and neighbouring Wilko, which fortunately does. Armed with my aforementioned can, I ran to the fuel pumps at ASDA to fill it only to find the pumps don’t accept contactless payments. With no physical bankcard about my person and no cash, another motorist could see I was fit to burst into tears, gallantly came to my rescue and filled my can with three quid’s worth of unleaded. So if you are reading this Terry, with the burnt orange Suzuki Swift, you’re a star. Thank you.