Flytipping - South Cambs needs to get serious
South Cambs District Council has just passed its budget for the coming year. There is quite a lot of money in various reserves. I put forward proposals to increase the resources - equipment and people - that the Council has to tackle flytipping, and also do more on keeping our villages better cared for, and encourage litterpicks and tree planting.
My proposals were voted down by the new “green to the core” Liberal Democrat administration, I’m sorry to say.
But I believe that cracking down on flytipping is important because it shows that the council is committed to our environment, here and now. It also supports our farmers whose land, and the crops they grow on it, are blighted by flytipping. The other parts of my proposals were about keeping our villages clean and cared for, and helping communities take action themselves.
In preparing for the budget I looked at the data from the last couple of years and there has been a big increase in casual flytipping - electrical goods, household and builders waste, and car parts and tyres. Too often it’s the “take if off your hands for an extra hundred squire, then you won’t need a skip” cowboys that are doing the dumping.
Flytipping has risen markedly – 166 reported incidents in the first six months of 2018 compared with 116 in the same period 2017. Household waste, electrical goods and tyres are the main areas of increase. It is almost all on roads and footpaths and bridleways. The numbers of prosecutions is practically zero. Two in two years.
The district budgets have considerable amounts of money in the specific business rates earmarked reserve, derived from the retained business rates pilot that ran for three years under the Conservative administration.
I wanted to set some targets - specifically
The council will respond to and clear away fly‐tipping within two working days and increase its ability to investigate and crack‐down on fly‐tipping offenders. Once an area gets a reputation as a suitable spot for fly‐tipping, it accumulates. Clearing away quickly stops that – but to be effective the council also needs resources to investigate and prosecute. The council will use drone technology to accurately identify reports and verify with complainants.
The cost for this would be £120k in revenue (vehicle plus two staff) and £100k capital for new vehicle.
An additional investigation officer at £30k with on costs.
The council would commit to a new protocol with Cambridgeshire Constabulary to share resources and information to secure prosecutions. The council will set a target to monitor effectiveness in this area.
And on Street cleaning - The district council currently sweeps kerbsides twice a year dependent on resources. In future under this proposal the council will commit to carry out street sweeping in the major villages every quarter and in all other villages three times a year.
An additional sweeper with driver would be needed – with the driver trained and qualified to additionally support environment waste collection services too.
I also said there should be a designated officer encouraging and organising community litter picks, like this one the Parish Councilareanged to cover parking areas near the A505 at Whittlesford, and even hedge and tree planting and stream clean-ups like the group at Shepreth undertake under proper supervision from the Chalk Stream Trust.
Here’s the link to the “friends of the River Shep Facebook” https://www.facebook.com/groups/127736877308658/?ref=share