MP calls for ‘sense of urgency’ to end problems with bins on the Broads

Members of the Wensum River Parkway Partnership on board a silver line hire boat to promote Norwich

Members of the Wensum River Parkway Partnership on board a silver line hire boat to promote Norwich City as part of the broads. Bishopsgate Bridge. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: copyright: Archant 2013

An MP has called for a 'sense of urgency' to bring mounting issues of rubbish on the Broads to an end.

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 - Credit: Archant

North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb said action needed to be taken to quell concerns over the dwindling number of waste facilities on the waterways which, over the last few years, has triggered worries about the impact on both tourism and the environment.

After a law change for years ago saw the bill for rubbish disposal handed to the landowner, many district councils - who had been paying for collections on land they were not responsible for - begin to withdraw services.

And as boaters document overflowing bins and strewn rubbish bags, talks continue, with assurances made that a solution to stop more bins being lost is in sight.

On Thursday, the Broads Authority's navigation committee will meet to discuss its proposed approach to waste management, which, in essence, pledges to work alongside local councils and businesses to 'minimise the creation of waste and recycle as much material as possible'.

A map showing where the bins on the Broads are, according to a Broads Authority report from Septembe

A map showing where the bins on the Broads are, according to a Broads Authority report from September 2016. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

Mr Lamb, who last month chaired a meeting on the issue, said: 'I have made it very clear that there has to be a solution, and that what we can't have is an increase in litter and fly tipping on the Broads.

'We can't have tourists put off coming here because the faciltiies don't meet their needs.'

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While districts including Great Yarmouth Borough Council and South Norfolk Council have already cut services, there are fears North Norfolk District Council will follow suit next year.

They say they cannot afford to foot the bill, while the Broads Authority maintains it is not a waste authority and should not pay for collections on land it does not own.

While boat hire firms run their own waste facilities, these are often only for customer use.

Mr Lamb admitted discussions had turned into 'a bit of a nightmare', but said: 'There needs to be a collective will to sort this problem out and it should not be beyond the ability of man or woman.

'There needs to be a sense of urgency.'

A suggestion that parish councils should fork out to keep collections has been challenged.

Mike Flett, chairman of Ludham Parish Council, said the council would need to know its involvement within the next few months, when precepts will be set for 2017.

He said while the village was yet to be affected, with Ludham's facilities still served, many residents had concerns.

'The comments I get from people are basically calling this outrageous,' he said. 'We are a tourist area and we want people to come here.'

• What do you think should be done? Email lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

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