Councillors wage war on flytipping
Let's clean up Kingswood
A CAMPAIGN has been launched by Kingswood councillors to crackdown on flytipping in the area, fearing the mounds of rubbish could attract arsonists.
Their crusade is centred around London Street which has proved a magnet for people who want to dump their waste.
Earlier this year, the mounds of unsightly rubbish, including dirty nappies, had started to smell, leaving residents exasperated.
The site, near the top of the street, has been blitzed twice, with the cost of clearance and legal action high.
There is now evidence of further fly-tipping with residents fearing the issue will never go away.
The campaign is being spearheaded by Kingswood councillors April Begley and Andrea Reid who are working with householders to stop it once and for all.
The Labour councillors say there is a “very real” risk of fire from discarded cigarette ends and arson attacks, which could cause harm to local residents and their property.
They are urging residents to report any flouting of the law immediately and are pointing out that offenders can be fined up to £50,000 and face five years in prison.
Leaflets have been delivered to householders to provide advice on fly-tipping with the aim of eradicating the problem, and the councillors are looking to resolve the issue of missing bins and recycling boxes and bags.
Already the duo have had some success and a council officer has been assigned to London Street to monitor the situation and halt future fly-tipping.
The first clearance in June took five Streetcare staff, wearing protective clothing, three hours to clear, at the cost of £450 which excludes any legal costs incurred.
Cllr April Begley said: “It is a matter of great concern that rubbish is thrown onto the streets, causing a health and safety risk to us all. Even when people bag-up rubbish in plastic bags it can be torn open and strewn around by scavenging animals. Rubbish thrown away carelessly is unsightly and offensive. I ask people to keep watch and report what they see. Together we can deal with this menace.”
Cllr Andrea Reid said: “I just feel so sorry for the people who live in the affected streets. Besides having to look at an eyesore, they have a health hazard on their doorstep. It’s totally unfair and selfish of people to fly-tip.
“I’m appalled to hear that people have been driving to London Street, specifically to fly-tip. If they can drive a car surely, they can drive to a sort it centre and dispose of the rubbish properly.
“It’s not victimless and it’s a drain on resources that could be better used elsewhere. I’m always happy to help people get the correct bins or register with their local sort it centre if needed. Always report fly tipping, or if you prefer, contact me or April and we will do so on your behalf. We wouldn’t tolerate fly-tipping in our own streets, and we won’t accept it in yours.”
THE LATEST Kingswood walkabout threw up various issues in the town centre.
Members of Friends of Kingswood Park hold tours of the area every three months to keep an eye on issues such litter and graffiti.
The latest walkabout on September 12 revealed weeds, blocked drains, unmarked bus stops, uneven pavements and potholes in the road.
They also discovered extensive flying-tipping at a private car park in Moravian Road where a mattress, shop sign, sofa and fridge were among the dumped rubbish.
A member of South Gloucestershire Council who had joined the group for the tour confirmed the authority had written to the Manchester-based owners of the car park but had yet to receive a response.
Members also found loose electrical cables coming down from several shops.
Jim Whittaker, secretary of the Friends, said: “They're low voltage so are not dangerous but they just look untidy.”
New graffiti had appeared in Boulton's Lane and weeds were growing up against walls in Bank Road car park.
The issues have now been fed back to the council for action.
The group also learned that the former Store 21 shop has been sealed for health and safety reasons after a burst pipe brought asbestos down from the ceiling.
Jim told the group he had been informed by the agent marketing the store that there was a high street name waiting to buy it.
They were also informed that a take-away pizza place would be opening up in the empty Care Plus Mobility shop.
Successes resulting from the June walkabout were reported back and include the removal of obscene graffiti from the side of a building. Weeds have been dug up in Boulton’s Lane and London Street has a new road sign. Fly posters placed on shops along the main road have been taken down.
The next walkabout takes place on Thursday December 12 at 10am outside Boswells, Regent Street, all welcome.
IT APPEARS Kingswood has a toilet paper thief. South Gloucestershire Council replenishes loo roll every day at the public toilets in Moravian Road. But during the morning, the paper in the gents mysteriously vanishes. Friends secretary Jim Whittaker said: “Residents complain about the poor state of the toilets and the fact there's no paper. We need to consider how we can discourage toilet roll theft.”