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Flytipping outrages cost West Norfolk taxpayers more than £60,000 per year to clear up

PUBLISHED: 03:17 17 November 2017 | UPDATED: 03:17 17 November 2017

Rubbish dumped in a North Lynn alleyway. Picture: Chris Bishop

Rubbish dumped in a North Lynn alleyway. Picture: Chris Bishop

Archant

It not only blights the landscape of one of the most beautiful parts of Norfolk, but costs taxpayers more than £60,000 per year to clear up.

West Norfolk council is pursuing a number of prosecutions of people suspected of dumping their rubbish in fields, streets and alleyways after seeing an increase in incidents across the borough, from 1,905 in 2015/16 to 1,980 in 2016/17.

In a report to the authority’s full council meeting this evening, cabinet member for the environment Ian Devereux said officers “continue to respond rapidly to flytipping outrages on public land and are endeavouring to support investigations in other areas”.

If they are successful, they can reclaim costs from perpetrators in court.

But with many incidents taking place in rural areas and offenders avoiding detection, investigators are often hampered by a lack of evidence – which means taxpayers end up footing the bill.

“There are lots of hurdles to get through,” said Mr Devereux, who described flytipping as a “major problem”.

“Evidence can be taken from the scene but it’s then about getting identification about who has conducted it.

“If there are real-time photos, that’s part of the story but it is by no means all.

“Identifying who has done it, why and when and getting incontrovertible proof can prove tricky.

“In spite of our efforts, incidents have increased from 1,905 in 2015/16 to 1,980 in the latest full year at a cost to council taxpayers of over £60,000.

“However, investigations are leading to prosecutions, which will be reported in due course.”

Councils do not have an obligation to clear flytipping from private land, although Mr Devereux said: “The challenge is when people use public land to access private land. That’s when it becomes difficult.”

However he said: “We’ve offered our services where if the flytipping is removed by the landowner and there’s evidence of the origins of the materials, I encourage my team to help landowners to see if someone can be identified.”

Earlier this year, members of the community and the borough council pledged to work together to tackle fly-tipping in privately-owned alleyways.

Have you spotted any flytipping around West Norfolk? Send pictures and details to andrew.papworth@archant.co.uk

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