MP's anger over £300,000 cost of fly-tipping clean-up
MP Tessa Munt has this week hit out at Somerset County Council
for cutting recycling centre opening times after new figures revealed
that fly-tipping has increased 65% across the county during the
past year while nationally the rate has declined by 9%.
up fly-tipped rubbish has cost tax payers in Somerset more than
£300,000 this year, said Tessa Munt during a debate in the
House Of Commons.
comes a year after concerns were raised that reducing
opening hours at local recycling centres - including Highbridge's
Isleport centre - would lead to an increase in fly-tipping.
said: "In 2011, the leadership of Somerset County Council
announced that Somerset would be the first county to introduce
partial closures and charging for the use of recycling facilities."
public expressed their concern that this would lead to increased
fly-tipping. The resulting costs, which are £303,615 this
year, have to be picked up by the taxpayer through the District
went on to ask the Leader of the House of Commons for a debate
on how Ministers might be empowered to intervene to protect the
environment and stop "this irresponsible use of taxpayers'
on behalf of the Government, the Leader of the House of Commons
said: "I am very interested in what my Honourable Friend
has to say, and I will ask my colleagues at the Department for
Communities and Local Government to respond to her specifically."
County Councils and District authorities sit down to discuss these
things together - I know they do that, as they do it with us as
Members of Parliament; we do it all together - we have a better
basis on which to consider matters, rather than simply shifting
costs between tiers of authorities."
after the debate, Tessa told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "These expenses
are unnecessary and outrageous. We Lib Dems objected to the Conservatives
decision to cut opening hours and to introduce charges on some
types of waste at local recycling centres, predicting this would
increase fly-tipping and increase costs to the taxpayer."
of local people wrote to me about this. Sadly for the countryside
and the taxpayer, we've been proven correct."
Top, Burnham's MP Tessa Munt in the Commons and, above, fly-tipping
in Burnham's Stoddens Lane