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Flytipping charges lead to dirty Leeds

by Wetherby Liberal Democrats on 11 February, 2019

Irresponsible flytipping between Boston Spa and Collingham

Leeds is officially the worst place in the country for flytipping.

And Wetherby Liberal Democrats say that is proof enough that it’s time for the Labour Council to say they got it wrong and repeal the DIY Tax charges at recycling centres in the city.

There is no excuse for the socially irresponsible behaviour of the sort photographed this week at Wattle Syke, on a lane between Collingham and Boston Spa.

We also recognise that swingeing Tory cuts to local authority grants have made balancing the books a tough job.

But Leeds Labour’s flytipping charges have contributed to the scarring of our beautiful landscapes and undermined pride in our towns and villages.

According to the Daily Mail, Leeds recorded more than 26,000 individual instances of illegal waste dumping, in the past year, including nearly 1,700 occasions where ‘white goods’ such as fridges were abandoned.

And even if Wetherby has fared better than most parts of Leeds, once standards fall they are hard to recover.

Cuts to police budgets mean that flytippers assume they can get away with it. Just one in 450 fly-tipping crimes end up in court.

Shocking figures show that out of 997,553 incidents of fly-tipping last year, only 2,243 were dealt with successfully in court.

Fly-tippers can be jailed for up to five years but the most common outcome is a fixed-penalty fine, which is often less than the cost of paying to use a licensed tip or waste disposal site.

This is no way to bring pride and optimism to our communities.

With the national cost of cleaning up flytipping amounting to £57m and Clean Leeds facing a colossal challenge, Wetherby Lib Dems wonder just how financially successful this misguided policy has been!