“If you report it - we will sort it.”
That’s the message from Hartlepool council bosses as they urge townsfolk to declare war on fly-tippers.
The Mail reported yesterday that council bosses have been accused of aggravating the problem by introducing new charges at Hartlepool’s recycling and waste centre earlier this month.
They say cuts in funding from central Government mean they have had no option but to introduce the charge.
Independent Councillor Paul Thompson said he had seen a rise in the number of fly-tipping cases in Seaton Carew since the charges were introduced.
Today he stood by his comments, though he accepted he could not speak for the rest of the town.
Litter is an ongoing problem and getting the community involved is something I am really interested in. It is great that we are able to get local people working together.”Coralie Niven
“In the last seven years, I have not had any complaints about fly-tipping,” he said.
“In the last three weeks, we have had lots.”
But a council spokesman said there had been no overall rise in reports of fly-tipping - and repeated calls for people to report cases wherever they occurred: “Although figures for individual Council wards are not currently available, across the town as a whole there has been no increase in the number of fly-tipping reports received since the introduction of some charges at the Household Waste Recycling Centre three weeks ago.
“So far this month, there have been 75 reported instances of fly-tipping. The figure for March – before the charges came in - was 132. Last year, 120 reports were received in March and 108 in April.
“We are grateful for the on-going support of local residents in the fight against fly-tipping and we would urge anyone who sees fly-tipping taking place or suspicious activity to contact us on 523333.”
Visitors to the Mail’s Facebook page were divided.
Darren Kidson wrote: “Everybody in the town could see this was going to happen, apart from our amazing council, while Craig Bratt said: “Fly tipping has begun on the field near where I live. Of course it’s down to charges.”
But Barry Campion wasn’t convinced: “People making out it’s due to charges at Burn Road, give ya heads a wobble, he said.
“There’s been fly tipping all over Hartlepool for some time now.
And Robert Moore wrote: “The charges were a bad idea, yes. But blaming the council for the mess caused by fly tipping is just plain silly.
“Scrap the charges, but don’t forget to direct some of the outrage towards the countless morons who are ruining our town.”