True cost of flytipping in Morley revealed

Wide Lane is a hotspot for flytipping, figures reveal.
Wide Lane is a hotspot for flytipping, figures reveal.

Almost 1,500 cases of fly-tipping in Morley have been reported to Leeds City Council over the last three years, figures obtained by the Observer & Advertiser have revealed.

However, none of these cases investigated by the local authority since 2012 have led to a prosecution, despite council spending on the issue more than trebling during that time.

Details obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that Rooms Lane is the most common dumping ground in the town, with 51 of the reported 1,485 incidents occurring there.

Windsor Court outside Morrisons came a close second, with 42 cases in the last three years.

Wide Lane and Queen Street have had 58 incidents between them during that time.

But the overall amount of fly-tipping in Morley is down on what it was last year, with 119 fewer cases in 2014/15 than in 2013/14, while across Leeds as a whole the offence continues to rise.

The council spent over £743,000 on clearing up fly-tipping in 2014/15 as opposed to 2012/13 when they spent just £216,000.

Fixed penalty notices have been issued in Beeston and Holbeck, Chapel Allerton, Hunslet and Moortown but none in Morley.

Explaining the process, the council said that it does undertake direct prosecutions for fly-tipping but only had data for fixed penalty notices.

A Leeds City Council spokesman said : “Flytipping call outs are mainly concentrated in inner city areas with high population densities, highly concentrated housing and low car ownership. The transient nature of the population in these wards leads to items being left outside properties when people move out with new occupants left to deal with or ignore the issue. There is also a higher than average proportion of residents new to Leeds who may not be familiar with our waste services or are sometimes unaware of how to deal with waste properly.”

The authority declined to specify which were the most fly-tipped items, but that bags of household waste caused the most problems.

Toni Briens, 49, who recently moved to Morley from Hampshire, said: “People don’t seem to care anymore.

“I’m left aghast at how much rubbish is just left on the street. I just don’t know why people they can’t be bothered to take their rubbish to the local recycling plant.

“In days gone by shop owners used to take great pride in the area and look after the area outside their shop and sweep it up, but on the high street no-one seems to now. If I see a piece of litter outside my house I’ll pick it up.

“I think Morley’s a great place but the litter issue really lets it down. I sometimes have relatives visiting me and taking them round the town and seeing the litter does embarrass me a little bit.

“We need to educate younger people so that they can shame their parents if they seem them doing it.

“I was walking through Dartmouth Park recently when I saw a group of teenagers drop their cups, they were about 13 or 14. I went over and decided to say something - I wasn’t rude about it - but I asked them if they were going to pick it up. And they were quite decent about it and they did so. Kids aren’t stupid, they understand.

“It’s up to politicians and people in power to keep it on the agenda.”

Local resident David Speight believes that the “dumping” of items outside of charity shops when they’re closed may be to blame for some of the problems.

“I notice that people come and dump waste outside charity shops on the high street and leave it there on Sundays and when they’re shut,” he said.

“It’s dumping and not donating, if they were donating then they’d go when the shops are open and give them the items personally. I don’t blame the charity shops at all.”

Coun Mark Dobson, executive member for community and safety, said: “Clearing up the mess of everyday life – including flytipping - costs the council about £8 million a year.

“Increases in the reported number of flytipping incidents are due to better reporting and the fact that the teams treat any waste left out as flytipping rather than just litter.

“Regardless of how it is classified, litter or flytipping cannot be justified. There are appropriate services provided by the council and others so people can deal with their rubbish properly.

“Where we have sufficient evidence in clear cases of flytipping, we will always seek to prosecute and as such we issued 131 Fixed Penalty Notices over the last year. However, we must find the right balance between education and enforcement to help bring about a lasting change in people’s behaviour.”

2012/13 top Morley streets for flytipping

1) Wide Lane - 13 cases

2) Windsor Court - 10

3) Rooms Lane - 8

4) Commercial Street - 6

5) Clough Street - 4

= Churwell Hill - 4

= Fountain Street - 4

= Glen Road - 4

= Wynyard Drive - 4

= Bank Avenue - 4

2013/14 top Morley streets for flytipping

1) Rooms Lane - 27 cases

2) Windsor Court - 25

3) Wide Lane - 18

4) King Street - 10

5) Nepshaw Lane - 8

= Queen Street - 8

7) Bradford Road - 6

= Churwell Hill - 6

= Magpie Lane - 6