Fly-tipping on private land ‘blighting’ people’s lives, councillor says

Flytipping in Wakefield.
Flytipping in Wakefield.

Fly-tipping on private roads is blighting people’s lives in Wakefield because the local authority is unable to clean it up, says a councillor.

Coun Betty Rhodes said that white goods and rubbish were being regularly dumped on land between homes in her Wakefield North ward, upsetting residents.

And although the council’s Streetscene service responds to fly-tipping incidents on the city’s public highways, staff are not legally allowed to clear up waste left on private land.

It means that piles of rubbish can be left unattended for weeks.

Speaking at a council scrutiny meeting on Monday, Coun Rhodes said she was aware the problem was affecting other parts of the district, as well as in her own ward.

She said: “I’m getting calls over and over again from constituents about rubbish being dumped at the back of properties.

“The problem is on the access roads that run from terraced houses to three and two bedroom properties.

“Because Streetscene have maybe been down there in the past, people think because they’ll go down there again.

“People are so sick of seeing this happen, and they’re wondering how it can be resolved.

“But if it’s on a private access road, there’s no authority for Streetscene to go in and clear it up.

“It’s terrible for the people on the other side of the fence to find cookers, mattresses, fridges and bags of rubbish all left there.

“It’s an absolute blight on people’s lives and it’s nasty.”

In May, it was revealed that Wakefield Council had responded to more than 4,000 reports of fly-tipping across the district in 2017, at a cost of £200,000 to the taxpayer.

Anyone prosecuted for fly-tipping can be issued with a fixed penalty notice of up to £200. If this is not paid then the case can be brought to court under a threat of further fines, or imprisonment.