Rotting pig carcasses are dumped in Preston street as fly-tipping hotspots are revealed

The rotting carcasses of pigs were dumped in a Preston street, a senior councillor said, as a Post investigation revealed the worst streets for fly-tipping last year.

Monday, 24th June 2019, 7:02 am
Updated Monday, 24th June 2019, 8:02 am
Fly-tipping off New Hall Lane, Preston

Coun Jono Grisdale, whose patch covers the two city streets most affected by illegal dumping, said he made the grim find last summer in Poynter Street off Ribbleton Lane.

He said the decaying meat had been stuffed into bin bags, which were then ripped open by "cats or rats", leaving the contents "spread down the streets".

Coun Grisdale, who represents the St Matthew's ward for Labour, said there was a "mishmash of reasons" for fly-tipping, from cowboy traders to a transient population, which sees people moving in and out of rented homes leaving furniture in the road.

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Fly-tipping off New Hall Lane, Preston

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The worst places in Preston for flytipping last year have been revealed

"But the main reason is the lack of civic pride," he said. "I'm shocked and appalled by them and I'd like to see them caught and brought to justice."

The lengthy New Hall Lane, which stretches from Brockholes Brow near the M6 motorway to London Road in the city centre, had the most reports of fly-tipping in 2018/19 with 35, figures obtained by the Post under freedom of information laws showed.

Dodgson Road, a small street off Skeffington Road in Ribbleton, was second with 22 reports, while Blackpool Road, which runs from Lea to Ribbleton, was third with 18.

In all, 1,670 reports of fly-tipping were lodged with the city council in 2018/19. The council was unable to say how much it all cost to clean up, but said the annual budget for cleaning the city is £1.9 million.

Last year, seven fines of £400 – or £200 if paid within a week – were handed out for fly-tipping, plus 14 fines of £150 – or £75 if paid within a week – for littering, while five people were prosecuted and one was handed a caution.

So far this year, five people have been given fines for fly-tipping, plus one for littering. Nobody has been prosecuted or cautioned.

Coun Grisdale said: "I'm sure the people whose lives are being blighted by the scourge of fly-tipping would truly like to see it stopped."

But he added: "I believe people have got to the point where they don't think things will change. Several people have come to me with it and I have approached issues for them and reported issues, but I get the feeling that there's a resignation, which is appalling.

"People are entitled to a far better standard of living than that brings to them," he said, citing an elderly woman who had household waste tipped near her home in Maitland Street - the fifth worst road for fly-tipping last year.

"It brought rats and she was terrified," he added.

In April, a ginnel dubbed "Preston's most disgusting alleyway" was fly-tipped again, just days after being cleared.

The alleyway, behind New Hall Lane and between Plevna Road and Brindle Street, was said to have become a magnet for illegal dumpers in recent months.

After the Post highlighted the problem, the council sent crews to clear away the rubbish, but it was targeted again shortly after, this time with food waste, furniture, electrical goods, games and beds.

One local resident said: “I’ve called the council but all they’ll say is that it gets cleared every quarter. They seem to think there’s a problem with residents doing it, but it’s fly-tipping. There’s settees, boxes, fridges, all dumped from a van.

“Why aren’t the council putting gates on the alleyway? It’s the only way to stop it.

“People coming in and out of the city will see this, and what must they think of Preston?”

Several fly-tipping incidents have also been reported on the website FixMyStreet, which allows residents to log issues in their area online, with reports automatically forwarded to the relevant council department.

Recent reports include garden waste left in the alley behind Station Road in Bamber Bridge; a mattress and rug left in a ginnel on Threefields in Ingol; rubbish bags dumped in St Thomas' Road, Deepdale; bedding, clothing and a Moses basket left in a shed on Fishwick golf course; and a sofa dumped in Kent Street, Deepdale.

The council said there is a “wide spectrum of offences which are generally referred to by the phrase fly-tipping”, ranging from a single bag of rubbish left by a bin to the dumping of commercial loads in isolated places.

All clean ups are done by the Street Scene department, which has around 40 workers.

A dedicated two-man crew use a caged tipper lorry to collect fly-tipped material, and help can be called in from three other teams who also use tipper trucks.

Waste enforcement officers sent to investigate scenes can also remove material, while small amounts of waste are often taken away in vans.

A spokeswoman for Preston Council said: “The main approach to dealing with identified offenders is primarily aimed at issuing penalty notices (FPNs) or prosecution.

"In very minor cases we may opt for issuing a written caution but only where the offence is admitted and fines or prosecution seen as an excessive punishment – i.e. a small number of bags left in a back alley near to their address.

“When interpreting the actions taken, it must be understood that FPNs are not a fine, they are an opportunity to discharge the liability of facing prosecution and conviction of the offence.

“An offender would only be convicted where the available evidence is sufficient to prove beyond all reasonable doubt that they committed the offence.

“It is unfortunate that, in a number of cases reported to us, there is insufficient evidence to either identify the source of the waste or who was responsible for dumping it especially if there is no evidence amongst the waste.

“We need the public’s assistance with tracing the offenders by providing eye witnesses statements, CCTV etc.”

The closure days – at facilities in Longridge, Barnoldswick, Burscough, Carnforth, Clitheroe and Haslingden – are yet to be finalised, but weekends and bank holidays will be unaffected.

Opening hours at all 15 centres across the county will be reduced by three hours per day, with each site operating from 9am to 5pm.

Currently, the facilities are open from 8am to 7pm.

New operating hours and reduced days are due to come into force from October 1.

The council council approved the changes as part of a plan to save £734,000-a-year.

Opposition councillors have previously raised concerns about a potential increase in fly-tipping as a result of the reduced days, though a report concluded there was ”no evidence” to support that claim.

Coun Fillis said: “It’s clearly recognised by the scientific community and supported by local people that we need to be recycling more.

“The Conservatives go against all this and choose to cut the opening opens of household waste recycling centres across Lancashire.

“This will, without doubt, reduce recycling and increase fly-tipping, leaving the borough councils to clear it up and local people to pay the price.”