Flytipping and street cleaning not being tackled by Lancaster City Council, said town councillor

Flytipping and street cleaning in Morecambe are not being tackled by Lancaster City Council, said a town councillor.

By Michelle Blade
Thursday, 19th May 2022, 3:45 pm

Liberal Democrat Town Councillor Jim Pilling said: “I would like to mention one particular problem spot for flytipping- the back street between Alexandra Road and West Street.

"The Lib Dems have cleaned it several times and obtained evidence of who is responsible.

"We have presented this evidence to Lancaster City Council but there doesn't appear to have been any action.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Flytipping on the back street behind Alexandra Road in Morecambe.

"The response we received was that if a fixed penalty notice was served then it would not be paid, and to take the matter to court would be too long winded, expensive and may not produce results.

“We completely disagree. If enforcement is not made, then the culprits will simply continue to act in this way.

“I've also been told that there is currently only one street sweeping machine in operation in the whole of Morecambe.

“Other seaside towns (Weymouth, Scarborough and Llandudno were mentioned) are much cleaner due to the fact that there were many more cleansing operatives employed and there was robust enforcement in place.

Flytipping in an alleyway in Morecambe. Picture by Councillor David Whitaker.

“The Lib Dems on Morecambe Town Council have successfully lobbied for three street cleaning operatives, with transport and equipment, to be deployed in the town, and this should start to make a difference in the near future.

“But this does not absolve Lancaster City Council (or Lancashire City Council - who are supposed to remove the weeds from our town) from their responsibility to clean our town, and keep it clean. The residents pay their taxes and should expect a much better service.”

Councillor David Brookes, Cabinet member with responsibility for environmental health and enforcement, said: “The illegal dumping of household waste happens for a number of reasons, from confusion or carelessness about how household waste should be stored and disposed of responsibly at one end of the scale, to organised crime by rogue waste carriers at the other.

“This month we will be joining forces with leading environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy to launch a new campaign to target some of the worst hotspots in the district, including those in the west end of Morecambe.

“One of the by-products of the Covid-19 pandemic was that more waste was generated due to people having to stay at home due to the numerous lockdowns.

"Along with the closure of the Household Waste and Recycling Centres, this led to more waste being illegally dumped in back alleys.

“While the level of enforcement has not yet been scaled back up, where evidence can be found, warning letters and statutory notices are issued.

"Unfortunately, the prosecution of fly-tippers through the courts is notoriously difficult and often requires time-consuming and laborious investigations, with a high threshold of proof, so there needs to be sufficient evidence to do so.

“The council operates a street cleansing presence in Morecambe from 5am to 9pm each day.

“Daily tasks include the removal of fly-tipping, litter, graffiti, chewing gum, as well as emptying public litter bins and street sweeping.”