Sefton Borough Council – Fly-tipping costs us all a fortune

The Liverpool Echo has a story about it on its website – see link below:-

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/shameful-photos-show-disgusting-piles-15929007

I’ve had a good rant about this on many previous occasions and the problem is rampant across the country of course, so Sefton is sadly not in any way unique.

But what really gets me is that between Councils and the Environment Agency there’s far too little mobile covert CCTV coverage of sites where regular fly-tipping problems are the greatest. And I admit that in my time as a Sefton Councillor I failed to push the powers that be into more intelligent reactions to this ever seemingly worsening situation.

Regular convictions of fly-tippers in the local press would work wonders because it would deter others from following them. What makes the situation all the more ridiculous is that because of my cycling around Sefton and West Lancs I see what has been dumped and very often it is stuff that could easily be disposed of at local Recycling Centre at no cost at all! Yes I know there are those businesses tipping tyres, asbestos and indeed even the by-products to cannabis farms but much of what I see on my travels is ordinary household rubbish, furniture and building rubble and it strikes me that the dumpers are just too idle to take it to a Recycling Centre.

I realise that it would cost money to set up a mobile covert CCTV unit but surely the Councils across say Merseyside, working with the Environment Agency could put something in place which would eventually pay for itself by far less fly-tipped rubbish having to be removed from back alleys and country lanes. This is not rocket science surely, is it?

Rant over, for now……..

Lunt – Fly-Tipping – It goes on and on and on!

I cycled through Lunt and its back lanes the other day and this is the sight that met me.

Sadly this is very far from being a new problem and the poor old residents of Lunt Village have had to put up with such illegal activities for many years. Of course Sefton Council is a victim too, as are local land owners, who have to keep clearing it all up.

A fellow cyclist was also passing through and he suggested what needs to be done to fly-tippers when they are caught. Of course as a Liberal I do not believe in executing people.

Seriously, councils and the Environment Agency really do have to get to grip with this ever expanding problem that is both blighting countryside and urban areas. Continuing to do what has always been done is clearly not working at all.

Maghull – Flooding – When the Environment Agency turned down volunteers

Quite a number of years ago, I suppose it must have been around the turn of the last Century, Maghull Town Council (then Lib Dem run) held a number of meetings with the Environment Agency about flooding. This was when the Lib Dems were warning about ‘climate change’ at a time when the Environment Agency line was that once in a hundred years events should be treated as such.

Of course this was well before the terrible flooding of Maghull’s Fouracres in 2012 and the events of Boxing day 2015 but it was clear back then that Maghull would be facing serious flooding issues in the future.

I raise this again now following a chat with my old chum and former Maghull councillor Cliff Mainey because it was Cliff who reminded me what had happened back then.

You see what had slipped my mind was that during those discussions it had been suggested by councillors that volunteers should be trained up who would know where to go to clear blockages in water courses in the event of very heavy rain.

Cliff, a retired Fireman, tells me that the Environment Agency rejected this idea. Now roll on to Boxing Day 2015.

Hall Lane, Maghull with a Merseyside Fire & Rescue worker trying to clear debris from Whinney Brook on Boxing Day 2015.

Hall Lane, Maghull with a Merseyside Fire & Rescue worker trying to clear debris from Whinney Brook on Boxing Day 2015.

At one specific spot the debris brought down Whinney Brook in the raging water blocked the grid/grill at the start of the culvert that takes this stream under Liverpool Road South at the Meadows shops. I photoed the consequences of this blockage and published those shots on Boxing day and reproduce them today. However, what I did not know was that the emergency services did not seemingly have this grid/grill within their emergency plan for flooding in Maghull so did not check it for a blockage until the water had back-flowed under Northway to flood the section of Hall Lane from the A59 to Old Hall Road.

Hall Lane, Maghull between the A59 and Old hall Road

Hall Lane, Maghull between the A59 and Old Hall Road.

This explains why the fireman that I saw clearing the debris from the grill/grid told me that he had seen the water level fall by 3ft after he had cleared it.

It was for this very sort of flooding scenario that Lib Dem Maghull Town Councillors had suggested that it appoint and train volunteers with local knowledge to help combat flooding problems all those years ago and as, I say, the Environment Agency poured cold water on the idea!

It strikes me that if they had been appointed and trained the grid/grill on Whinney Brook would have been kept clear and the water may well not have back-flowed up Whinney Brook.

I wonder how the Environment Agency feel about the matter now?

Addendum posted later on 24th January 2016 – How odd, I have just seen last week’s edition of the Aintree & Maghull Champion where there’s an article very much along these lines in terms of Maghull Town Council trying to get something similar up and running! I wrote this posting about 10 days ago and had no idea that MTC had been working up a new initiative some 16 or more years since Cliff Mainey had been thwarted the first time around. What an odd coincidence.

Litter, fly-tipping and dumping – Lunt Village residents could not agree more!

England’s rubbish challenge

Littering has become “endemic” in England, according to a report from the Department of Communities & Local Government (DCLG).

This was the sight to meet residents in Lunt Village -  this morning 20th March 2015 - Don't you wish you knew who put it here so you could chuck it in their front garden to see how they would like it!

This was the sight to meet residents in Lunt Village – this morning 20th March 2015 – Don’t you wish you knew who put it here so you could chuck it in their front garden to see how they would like it!

It recommends tougher littering fines and a national strategy to be put in place before local councils become overwhelmed. Fly-tipping and fast-food litter have both jumped by 20% in the past year. “The failure to make a noticeable improvement in litter levels in the last 12 years points to a lack of vigour, if not complacency, within Government over the past decade,” the report stated. Jeremy Paxman told the Independent the country was in a “disgusting state”. He added: “If we don’t do something now …. We’ll be handing on the country to our children and grandchildren and inviting them to live in basically a rubbish tip.”

The Independent, The Times & The Daily Telegraph covered this story

This was me in Lunt a while back checking out the dumping. Sadly, the powers that be are still not effectively tackling it.

This was me in Lunt a while back checking out the dumping. Sadly, the powers that be are still not effectively tackling it.

Sefton Council tells me the amount of fly-tipping around Lunt Village is not enough to consider measures such as bringing in the Environment Agency. The Environment Agency tells me it’s up to Sefton Council to sort out the fly-tipping. But the dumping and fly-tipping continues day after day, week after week, month after month and year after year. We go around in circles and no one in authority will take responsibility to seriously identify and tackle those who deliberately trash our local environment. Yes, this makes me angry but is anything actually going to be done following this report from DCLG to change this cycle of environmental destruction?

With thanks to the LGiU for the lead to this story

Figures show a rise in fly- tipping

Recently published Government figures show there were more than 750,000 incidents of fly-tipping last year.

Analysis of the data by the Guardian shows Newham, east London, was the worst-offending borough, with more than 22 incidents per 100 people last year. According to the paper, the top ten worst local authorities per 100 people is dominated by London boroughs, with Haringey, Enfield and Southwark following Newham. Only two areas outside the capital – Burnley and Great Yarmouth – appear in the top ten.

This took my eye because of the recently documented (on this blog site) problem areas for fly-tipping in Melling, Lunt Village and Ince Blundell. Since I raised them, yet again, I have tried to get the Environment Agency to take some action. Sadly, however, they say that the fly-tipping is not at the level at which they will take over management of the problem from Sefton Council. It does make you wonder how bad it has to get before we reach the ‘tipping’ point!

With thanks to the LGiU for the lead to this story.

Confluence of River Alt & Dovers Brook – Maghull

I have commented before about the problems Dovers Brook causes when it can’t empty out into the River Alt at their confluence just to the north of Bridges Lane on the Maghull/Sefton Civil Parish Boundary.

I have now tracked down a clear photo which I took a while ago, that illustrates the problem well:-

rsz_confluence

Dovers Brook is to the left and the River Alt to the Right. Dovers Brook backs up when the River Alt has no more capacity to take additional water. The consequences were sadly felt by residents in Fouracres and Sefton Lane the last time this happened in September 2012.

The plan being developed by the Environment Agency will see fields flooded to the east of Lunt and Homer Green when such situations occur in the future I am told.

The photo above is amongst my Flickr shots at:-
www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/