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Open Letter to Hounslow Council re: Fly-Tipping in Boston Manor

April 25, 2015 5:29 PM

Hounslow Liberal Democrats
104 Boston Manor Road

Brendon Walsh
London Borough of Hounslow
Regeneration, Economic Development and Environment
Civic Centre
Lampton Road
25 April 2015

Dear Mr. Walsh,

Open Letter re: Fly-Tipping in Boston Manor

This month has seen yet another series of major fly-tipping incident in the passageway between Boston Gardens and Boston Manor Road in Brentford. The most recent incident, saw several tons of building rubble dumped in the middle of the alleyway blocking access to resident's garages.
The alleys aren't technically public highways, but private paths jointly owned by the freeholders of the houses that have access rights with the responsibility for cleaning and maintaining deemed to fall to the householders and not Hounslow Borough Council.

Residents identified the markings on the Van. However, the vehicle had apparently been sold on twice in recent months without being registered with the DVLA. An angry householder made an inspection of the rubbish bags, eventually locating a document with an address that could lead the police to the identification, and hopefully prosecution, of the person(s) responsible for this environmental crime. (Dumpers can face fines of up to £50,000 and/or jail time).
Fly-tipping has been a long-standing problem around Boston Manor since the introduction of Landfill taxes in 1996. It costs £110 per ton (inclusive of £80 tax) to dispose of general waste at the site in Lionel Road South, Brentford. High costs for skip permits and parking suspension permits exacerbate the problem.

Personally, I have had to clear fly-tipped rubbish from the alleyway at the back of my house on several occasions in recent years. Each time it has cost several hundred pounds in hiring a Van driver or grab truck and waste disposal fees. My experience has been shared by many residents of this area and is a wholly unreasonable imposition on the many single elderly residents living in the neighbourhood.

The council has not taken any responsibility in the past, even-though the passageway is openly accessible, in constant use by members of the public and rubbish tipped in these access routes constitutes both a public health and fire hazard.

After years of complaints from residents, the council's environmental protection department have finally acquiesced to carry out a consultation on a project to install crime prevention measures that would involve the installation of gates at two entry points. The project will only go ahead, however, if the great majority of the homeowners whose property backs on to the alleyway, collectively sign-up to sharing the costs involved with the installation and maintenance of gates.

The council has reiterated that fly-tipping will not be cleared by London Borough of Hounslow as they deem the passageway to be private land.

Many residents remain skeptical that the council's proposals to erect a gate just at each end of the alley, while leaving open several access points along the length of the passageway, will prove effective in dealing with this problem.

I share residents concerns with the Local authority's apparent indifference to their statutory public health and environmental duties. Food and other waste such as mattresses, sofas and carpets, can attract vermin as it provides warmth and food on which they can thrive. Under the Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949, the Council has an obligation to remove this type of waste to prevent rat infestation.

Homeowners here are currently paying £1375 a year in council tax. A small levy of £1 or £2 pounds per month on top of these charges would likely cover the cost of adopting these passageways as public highways. The council can clear fly-tipped rubbish at a significantly lower cost than individual householders. For example, The Tidy Town bulky waste collection service that can be used to remove household waste and large items such as furniture, electrical items and white goods, costs £40 per collection (up to 5 items) and £8 per additional item collected.

I would at this time urge you to listen carefully to the voices and concerns of local residents and attend the annual general meeting of the Boston Manor Residents Association to be held in the upstairs rooms of the Harvester public house, Boston Road W7 from 8.00pm on 13th May.

Yours sincerely.

Joe Bourke, Chairman
Email: Joe@hounslowlibdems.org.uk

CC: Kumail Haider, London Borough of Hounslow, Environmental Protection Officer