Norwich winning the war on flytippers

The war against flytippers in Norwich is being won, according to new figures which show the number of times waste has been dumped in the city's streets has plummeted by more than 2,000 cases.

It has long been a blight on our city's streets.

However, the war against flytippers in Norwich is being won, according to new figures which show the number of times waste has been dumped in the city's streets has plummeted by more than 2,000 cases.

In 2004/5 there were 7,472 cases of flytipping in Norwich, but in the last financial year that total had been cut to just 5,378 instances.

Council bosses attributed the hefty drop to them taking a tougher stance on punishing the culprits who abandon building material, furniture and other rubbish in public places.

The council has also set up two quick reaction teams specifically to remove the rubbish, which is usually done within two hours of the report coming in to City Hall.

And the council has identified a string of flytipping hotspots around Norwich where extra resources can be put in to tackle the problem.

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Julie Westmacott, cabinet member for environment and neighbourhoods, said she was pleased that the problem which blights communities was being tackled.

She said: 'By focusing on more effective and efficient use of resources, the council has contributed to a significant drop in the number of flytipping incidents across the city.

'The key to prevention of flytipping is getting an area clean and keeping it clean.

'To do this needs the help of everyone, including our residents, landlords, visitors, contractors, officers and outside agencies.

'I would urge residents to get in touch with our customer contact and neighbourhood teams to report such issues so speedy action can be taken.

'I recognise the blight that flytipping brings to an area and so intend to build on the success so that we continue to reduce the number of flytipping incidents over the coming years.'

Through the quick reaction crews, if flytipping is reported in the morning, it is required to remove it by the afternoon and if reported in the afternoon, by 10am the next day.

But the council says most are actually dealt with within two hours and they are also expected to pick up any flytipping when they spot it.

Some of the work is linked to complaints raised through the Safer Neighbourhood Action Panels and the team has mapped hot-spots of places where flytipping is known to be a recurring problem.

Stephen Little, Green Party city councillor for Town Close ward, questioned why the council did not install more signs or temporary CCTV at the locations which suffer from persistent flytipping.

But Ms Westmacott said that would incur a 'significant cost' which does not in itself solve the problem of flytipping.

Earlier this year, Broadland was named the cleanest place in Britain after inspectors carried out secret spot-checks.

Broadland District Council won the overall national award in the 2010/11 Clean Britain Awards, as well as scooping gold in the districts category.

It followed anonymous inspections by judges from Clean Britain, which saw them looking at a string of key areas.

That included checks on litter, chewing gum, smoking-related litter, fly-tipping, graffiti, how many litter bins are provided and what sort of state they are in.

Taxpayers are saddled with a �1m bill each year to clear up flytipping across Norfolk, with more than 3,330 tonnes of illegally dumped waste removed from around the county last year.

Last November every district and borough council in Norfolk joined forces with the Environment Agency for a campaign aiming to stop the practice.

Conviction for flytipping can lead to a fine of up to �50,000 and up to five years in prison.

• Do you think the councils are doing enough to tackle flytippers or do you know a spot where it remains a problem? Write to Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email