The current Mayor will have you think he is playing hardball with fly tippers and has really cracked down on this criminal offence in Bedford Borough. Yet the stats reveal the opposite, they tell a story of a beautiful town and countryside blighted by constant fly tipping. Since 2016/17 fly tipping incidents have actually increased with almost a 1000 more incidents in 2020/21.
And how does our current Liberal Democrat Mayor play hardball with these criminals? With only 1 fine issued in 2020/21, from a court conviction, which totalled £200*. When you factor in that it costs a little over £18,000 to clear up the rubbish left by fly tippers our current Mayor may claim he is tackling fly-tipping but the list of fines issued says otherwise. The apparent cover up of this record has your attention diverted to the announcement of spending on CCTV cameras specifically for fly-tipping. But, to date these cameras have produced a paltry 10 penalty notices - as stated by the Mayor, to put this into perspective Bedford Borough had over 3000 fly tipping incidents in 2020/21. 10 penalty notices to date totals only 1.3% of the incidents. And we know that the Councillor in Clapham has been asking for a CCTV camera for a particular hot spot for almost a year with no joy. It seems as though the current Mayor does not understand the severity of the fly-tipping issue, the upset it causes residents and to enforce a sufficiently robust response. The cameras are a welcome investment, but is it too little too late?
There is no excuse for fly tipping, this is an unacceptable practice that poses a risk to council staff and residents. There is also no excuse for the current Mayor’s failure given that our neighbours in Central Bedfordshire have seen fly tipping incidents reduce significantly. In 2020/21 Bedford Borough had 2393* more incidents than Central Bedfordshire, perhaps I'm right in saying we should be speaking to other local authorities to see how they manage this, and what waste disposal service they offer residents and local businesses to prevent fly tipping issues. *defra Statistics
It’s time for a change - Bedford deserves better.