Council wants tougher laws to tackle fly-tipping in Newham
PUBLISHED: 07:00 02 August 2018
Flytippers need to be punished to the fullest extent of the law.
That is just one suggestion from residents fed up of the illegally dumped waste plaguing the borough’s streets.
Karl O’Keeffe – who campaigns for a cleaner borough – said: “As residents we are victims of the criminal activities of others who inflict their disgusting laziness and selfishness on people by wantonly dumping waste all over our streets. These people need to be pursued and punished to the fullest extent of the law.”
“It makes people depressed and angry to live amongst this. The council needs to be making greater efforts to consider residents’ happiness and wellbeing.”
Julia Charles of Clinton Road, Forest Gate, said: “The situation has got so much worse since the [bulky waste] charge was introduced.”
Ms Charles added that not everyone can afford to pay £20 for the council to collect up to six items with some people unwilling to visit the tip.
She called for collection points to be introduced.
Maria Saunders of Crescent Road, Plaistow, said: “I’m concerned so much fly tipping happens around schools, particularly the recent spate of laughing gas canisters and empty alcohol bottles that our children pass every morning.”
Sue Holdroyd, of Sebert Road, Forest Gate, praised the borough’s street cleaners, but slammed the bulky waste charge and timed collections for residents in flats.
“People put stuff out in flimsy bags. Foxes go in them. Scraps get left behind. The rubbish is an eyesore. I have challenged Newham over timed collections and never got a satisfactory response to the simple request: give people bins,” Mrs Holdroyd said.
IT manager Danny Wasp of Dickens Road, Upton Park, said: “I feel ashamed to say that I live in the area. It’s quite evident nobody cares about it. People constantly drop stuff on the floor. It’s absolutely horrible.”
He added the bulky waste charge didn’t seem to have an impact on flytipping levels, but educating householders more could help.
Resident Jo Stroud said: “Newham’s streets are an absolute disgrace and while it is clearly an environmental issue, I don’t think it is unfair to suggest that the filth we see on a daily basis also represents a mental health issue for those who simply want somewhere pleasant to live and work.
“There are plenty of people for whom the bulky waste charge is simply not affordable, but sadly there are also those who simply flout the rules, dump their rubbish wherever they please, and lack basic respect for their neighbours or the environment in which they live.”
Newham’s environment chief Cllr Rachel Tripp said there was no silver bullet to solving the problem.
On the council’s vision, Cllr Tripp said: “I want a Newham we can be proud of. We know how important this is to our residents.”
She explained the council wants all streets free of litter or mainly clear under a national standard and that educating people about waste disposal was important. She added providing people living in flats above shops with bins would attract flytipping.
Mr O’Keeffe slammed the council’s bulky waste removal fee as a desperate attempt to fund a stretched cleansing service. It resulted in residents who always do the right thing being financially punished to clean up after the disgusting minority who continued to treat the borough like a personal tip, he said.
But Cllr Tripp said disposing of waste had costs which had to be covered. She added: “We need to have a look at [the charge] and understand how people feel about it.”
But she argued £20 was not a huge amount of money.
She added the evidence showed there was a flytipping problem before and after its introduction but was open-minded about reviewing it.
On whether punishments were tough enough, Cllr Tripp said fines were set at a national level but the council wanted them to get tougher.
Since April, Newham has issued 119 fines raising £34,500. Fourteen people were taken to court with Beckton flytipper Patrick Egan sent to jail for eight months in June.
“The main thing is flytipping is a shared problem. Residents feel it is a priority and we feel that too. We want to develop solutions together and report back to people honestly. That accountability is one of the most important things,” Cllr Tripp said.
Mr O’Keeffe suggested Newham use its register to target irresponsible landlords who flytip.
He said: “Residents need to start seeing changes soon. We deserve to live in a borough we can feel proud to call home.”