Half-a-million-pound bill to pick up rubbish

fly-tipping leaves us with a huge bill
fly-tipping leaves us with a huge bill

I had a meeting the other week with some of the city council officers regarding the cost for them to manage the litter control at this year’s carnival.

One of the things to come out of this meeting was the scale of the fly tipping problem within our district.

Chairman  of Morecambe Carnival  organising committee David Brayshaw.

Chairman of Morecambe Carnival organising committee David Brayshaw.

We have all see litter dumped around town, ranging from bin bags dumped in alleys to whole loads of household items dumped in lay-bys; it all comes down to the council to clear away and, ultimately, it is you and I, the rate payers, who pick up the bill.

And what a bill it is: I was astounded to learn the cost to us, to clear away this fly tipping, is £500,000 a year. Yes, HALF A MILLION POUNDS. It isn’t only the fact that it costs so much either, it’s also dealing with the public’s expectation that the rubbish should be cleared up immediately; an expectation I personally agree with and one which the council makes every effort to meet.

No one likes to see rubbish lying around, especially during our summer season when we are trying to encourage people to come to Morecambe and then to hopefully re-visit.

The council acknowledges this, too, and they have a team, dedicated to clearing up fly-tipped rubbish, however, such is the volume of fly tipping, sometimes this team is overwhelmed and extra resources have to be moved from their routine duties to help with this problem.

So not only are these fly tippers costing us HALF A MILLION POUNDS A YEAR, they are also the reason why normal street cleaning is not getting done as often as it could. I don’t know what the answer is, however, being vigilant would be a start. If you see anyone littering, make a note and report them to the council, take vehicle registration numbers, discreet photos if you can.

I’m sure it will all help to build a case against the worst offenders. Like with so many things in life, it’s probably a small number of people who are causing this problem and costing you and me a lot of money.

Getting back to the carnival, I’m thrilled The Bay has announced that Alesha Dixon will be performing on this year’s live stage.

This is the second huge act we’ve secured, after Scouting for Girls, and she is already generating a huge surge of interest. I’m getting inundated with emails and Facebook messages from fans of SFG and Alesha, wanting to know where they can apply for tickets; they are amazed when I reply that the event is free, they can just come along and enjoy.

I’m already getting reports from people who are struggling to find somewhere to stay for the weekend so any hotels, caravan parks or B&Bs with availability over the weekend, maybe you can share the details on our Facebook page which will help our visitors and your business.