Hastings council hopes to prosecute over Cornwallis Gardens fly-tipping

Fly-tipping in Cornwallis Gardens. Picture: Drew Brooke-Mellor
Fly-tipping in Cornwallis Gardens. Picture: Drew Brooke-Mellor

Hastings council is ‘following up a lead’ on Cornwallis Gardens fly-tipping which may result in a prosecution, a spokesman has confirmed.

The so-called conservation area has recently become a magnet for discarded fridges, TVs, beds, mattresses and commercial builders’ waste, according to resident Drew Brooke-Mellor.

Mr Brooke-Mellor said bin contractors say the rubbish is a ‘street sweeping issue’ and the street sweepers claim it is a ‘mess left behind by the waste contractors’.

He added: “When the council does eventually send a team out to clean up, they do the bare minimum to clear the waste, only for it to be replaced by new rubbish, usually within 24 hours.”

Hastings Borough Council has announced it will be moving its street cleansing service in-house after its contract with outsourcing provider Kier comes to an early end next year.

Mr Brooke-Mellor hopes this decision ‘might be able to solve the persistent fly-tipping problem’ that exists around ‘every recycling facility in the area’.

Despite acknowledging the in-house move will not stop fly-tipping from occurring, Hastings Borough Council said it will make it easier to take enforcement action against the perpetrators.

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A council spokesman added: “It will be easier for the council’s enforcement services to identify hotspots and to secure the evidence, as they will have direct access to the street cleansing staff servicing these locations on a daily basis.

“The street cleansing operatives will also be trained so that they can secure the evidence that is critical for us to be able to take enforcement action.

“We are currently following up a lead on the Cornwallis fly tipping which may result in a prosecution.”

Mr Brooke-Mellor suggested the council looked at CCTV footage which has been installed to cover the bins in Cornwallis Gardens.

However, the council said CCTV was not a ‘silver bullet’ to solve this problem.

The spokesman added: “Last year we took enforcement action using evidence from a CCTV camera adjacent to another of our refuse and recycling sites, and we will continue to use this as a way of identifying the people responsible whenever practical.

“The best evidence is first hand witness evidence.

“Residents can help us tackle the blight of fly tipping. If they see it occurring they should make a note of any vehicles involved including, make, colour and registration. Plus descriptions of the people involved, and exactly what they saw happening and when it took place. Then the easiest way to notify the council is to report the fly tip via our online reporting app.

“There is a box to tick to say that they witnessed the fly tip, and if this is ticked an officer will contact them to get more details. For example a witness statement that could be used to help us take a prosecution.

“Fly tipping is a serious crime and so long as we have good enough evidence to identify the perpetrators, the council will take enforcement action against them. Last year we updated our local enviro-crime enforcement policy on this. We can issue Fixed Penalty Notices ranging from £80 to £400 depending on the type of fly tipping offence. Or in even more serious cases we can take action in the Magistrates’ Court.”