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Darwen: Sudell residents say fly-tipping persists after ‘threatening letters’ sent out

RESIDENTS in an area blighted by fly tipping have said that despite ‘threatening’ letters being sent out last month the problem has not stopped.

The letters were sent out to residents in the Sudell area in June, identifying householder by name and saying that they would be brought before the courts if they broke waste management rules.

However, the letters were sent to a number of innocent residents, many of them elderly and many who had actually been trying to keep their areas clean, causing distress and fear, while initial flytipping problem has still not been solved.

Resident John Buck said: “Well it doesn’t seem to have done much good, the area is still blighted with fly tipping, black bin bags and rubbish piled in most of the back alleys.

“Responsible householders will still dispose of their rubbish correctly, while others will still throw their rubbish in the back alleys, as they can’t be bothered to do it correctly.

He added: “Obviously targeting the innocent and guilty together smacks of a policy dreamed up with very little thought behind it. Whoever thought a threatening letter to the flytippers would work is living in cloud cuckoo land.”

Various residents complained at the time, including an 80-year-old woman who said she found the letters to be “personally threatening” and a young man who was put off going out with his friends because the letter had affected him so badly.

Mr Buck said: “I complained about the letter as my recycling is always done correctly.

“When this came out they backtracked by trying to say it was a general letter because of the problems in the area, but a general letter does not have a name and address on it, it usually says to the occupier.”

He added: “I suggested to the council that the only way they could find the culprits was by going through individual bin bags to try to identify them by, discarded letter heads etc.

“In fact in the long past they said they would be doing this. but to my knowledge they never have done.”

According to Mr Buck however, over a month on and despite all the upset caused the problems have still not been solved.

The council however has said a number of measures have been put in place to deal with the problem.

Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council head of environment Tony Watson said: “We have recently hired a new waste enforcement officer, who is targeting the top 25 streets in Blackburn with Darwen for waste associated issues.

He added: “New CCTV cameras have also recently been installed in a number of high-risk areas, and any footage gathered will be used as evidence, allowing us to prosecute those responsible.

“As well as this, posters will soon be going up near the top 25 streets warning people not to fly-tip and what to do if fly-tipping is identified.

“These were designed based on feedback following a public consultation.

“Alongside these efforts, we have a back street clearing team that work their way throughout the borough’s adopted back streets on a regular programme.”

The council has advised that anyone who wishes to report a waste crime can go to: www.blackburn.gov.uk/fly-tipping.