‘Commercial’ rubbish blighting Broads beauty spots

Rubbish at Potter Heigham following GYBC move to stop waste collections on the Broads Rubbish at Potter Heigham following GYBC move to stop waste collections on the Broads

Friday, July 4, 2014
11:55 AM

It is hoped that negotiations will soon take place as a row over the removal of rubbish bins at several Broads beauty spots rumbles on.

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The Street Thurne 22062014 photo John BullochThe Street Thurne 22062014 photo John Bulloch

A number of villages on the Broads have reported an increase in rubbish being dumped near the water after Great Yarmouth Borough Council (GYBC) removed bin compounds from 10 sites close to moorings.

The Norfolk and Suffolk Boating Association (NSBA), the Broads Hire Boat Federation (BHBF), the Broads Authority, parish councils and residents have voiced fears the move will not only have an environmental impact but will put holidaymakers off and hit the local economy.

GYBC said it removed the bins at St Olaves, Burgh Castle, Repps with Bastwick (near the Potter Heigham bridge), Thurne, Acle, Stokesby and Somerton, last month after Norfolk County Council (NCC) reclassified the rubbish in the compounds from domestic to commercial waste.

The borough council has responsibility for collecting domestic waste and the county council disposes of it. But as a a result of government legislation that prompted reclassification, NCC would no longer pay for the rubbish collected from those 10 compounds to be disposed of.

The result: bags of rotting food, dirty nappies and other waste is being piled next to several public bins, with reports of fly tipping being particularly bad in Thurne, Potter Heigham and Burgh Castle.

Trevor Greenacre, chairman of Burgh Castle Parish Council, said: “The marina is the jewel in our crown. And now when you go for a lovely walk along the river, you come across rubbish bags.”

A spokesman for GYBC said: “A spokesman for Great Yarmouth Borough Council said: “As a result of Government legislation, Norfolk County Council has reclassified the majority of waste collected from these 10 compounds from domestic waste to commercial waste. The county council has decided to no longer pay for the disposal of the waste at these compounds, which mainly served leisure boating on the broads.

“The borough council cannot go above and beyond its statutory duties and pay for the disposal of the commercial waste, because at an additional cost of £15,000 a year this would overstretch the council’s increasingly tight budget. Moreover, it would be unfair on other businesses who have to pay for the disposal of their own trade waste.

“The majority of these compounds are on private land. The Broads Authority, as a separate statutory body, and/or the landowners and/or the boat hire companies could pay to deal with the waste themselves.

“Since the changes came into effect on June 16, until today (July 1) the borough council has received a small number of reports of rubbish being left around full public litter bins – two bins at Thurne and one at Potter Heigham.

“The borough council is visiting all sites on a regular basis to monitor the situation and has increased collections at the above two sites. The authority is willing to discuss with parish councils about potentially installing extra litter bins for use by walkers who previously used the compounds.

“Boat users are asked to take their waste to either a proper disposal point or back to their hire point if appropriate. These changes are still new and over time it is hoped that people will get used to the new arrangements.”

A spokesman for the Broads Authority said it should not have to pay for waste collection or disposal.

She said: “The Broads Authority is part of the National Park Authority family, not a district council and therefore does not have funding, or indeed responsibility, for waste collection or disposal on sites it does not own.

“We appreciate all budgets are under pressure however and are in discussion with Great Yarmouth Borough Council and other districts to find a solution to the issue.”

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