News that the Government plans to scrap charges for the disposal of DIY materials has been welcome by Liberal Democrat Opposition Leader and Shaw councillor, Howard Sykes MBE.
“Placing the financial burden of waste disposal onto residents who are trying to do the right thing was wrong and it’s right that the charges should be axed. The ‘Tip Tax’ has created more problems than it has solved as residents have been turning to private collectors. In many cases fly-tipping has increased because of these unregulated operators,” stated councillor Sykes.
“This will be welcomed as even more people than usual are doing DIY due to the cost-of-living crises. But fly-tipping will continue to be an issue in our communities unless the Labour council gets tougher with offenders,” councillor Sykes explained.
Under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA), councils have the power conduct covert surveillance to aid in the detection of certain offences and the prosecution of offenders. Oldham Council has previously issued a ‘Don’t Trash Oldham’ call to residents but councillor Sykes has criticised council bosses for failing to use RIPA powers to clamp down on fly-tippers.
Councillor Sykes said, “Oldham’s Labour Council continues to spend huge sums of money on community clear-up schemes but has consistently failed to use existing powers to catch offenders. Instead of just throwing Tax-Payers money at the problem, we should be using every legal power available to us to crack down on these irresponsible people.”
There were more than 113 million instances of fly-tipping across the UK last year according to the Department for Economy Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).
A budget proposal put forward Oldham Council’s Liberal Democrats last month, which would have set aside additional funding to help tackle environmental crime was rejected by Labour, Conservative and so-called independent councillors.
Councillor Sykes said, “The councils that are tackling this problem effectively are the ones putting resources into prevention and we are just not seeing enough of that in Oldham.”