Rubbish row over car seats

Stephen Rolls-King outside the Underground Theatre stage door. SUS-140925-113616001
Stephen Rolls-King outside the Underground Theatre stage door. SUS-140925-113616001

A row has broken out as the council dumped a man’s car seats after it claimed they were fly-tipped.

Stephen Rolls-King, trustee of the Eastbourne Under Ground Theatre had taken the back seats out of his car and left them by the stage door at the theatre under the library.

The theatre was undergoing refurbishment, and he was taking rubbish to the tip.

“I have a big seven seater vehicle, the back seats come out. I put them outside the stage door which is what we rent from East Sussex County Council,” he said. “I did three trips to the tip. I came back from the fourth visit and find the seats were gone.

“I went to Eastbourne Borough Council (EBC) and they said there was some drunks who had been sitting on it. They said they consider it to be fly-tipping, and it was causing anti-social behaviour. How can a seat cause anti-social behaviour? If that was the case every bench in Eastbourne would have to be removed.”

The car seats were treated as fly-tipped waste and were dumped. Now Mr Rolls-King is seeking compensation, but the council stood its ground and said it was a fly-tipping.

A council spokesman said: “On August 8 at approximately 10am council officers noticed discarded car seating in the vicinity of 1 Grove Road. The three-person seat was located in a public area adjacent to the steps that lead down to the Underground Theatre. Within two hours, a number of people were seen drinking alcohol and using drugs whilst sitting on and around the seat.

“The police attended promptly and dealt with the people sitting on the car seat. The seating was also reported to the council’s waste contractor for removal and collected by them at 4.30pm.

“Subsequently, Mr Rolls-King contacted EBC to complain that the seating had belonged to him and had not been fly-tipped.

“In a meeting with the council, Mr Rolls-King accepted that despite leaving the seating in a public place for more than six hours and seeing the police deal with the people sitting on it earlier in the day, he had failed to inform anyone that it belonged to him.”