SUTTON BRIDGE PARISH COUNCIL: Flytipping headache now reaches picnic area

DUMPING GROUND: The entrance to East Bank Lighthouse picnic area, Sutton Bridge, where flytippings has been reported.
Photo by Tim Wilson.  SG310118-154TW.
DUMPING GROUND: The entrance to East Bank Lighthouse picnic area, Sutton Bridge, where flytippings has been reported. Photo by Tim Wilson. SG310118-154TW.
  • Action on dog fouling in Memorial Park
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Plans to promote a picnic area at East Bank Lighthouse could be undermined by flytipping, a parish councillor has warned.

Images of a cow chewing on a plastic beer can ring near the picnic area were released by the Country Land and Business Association last month.

VISITOR ATTRACTION: East Bank Lighthouse picnic area in Sutton Bridge.  Photo by Tim Wilson.  SG310118-153TW.

VISITOR ATTRACTION: East Bank Lighthouse picnic area in Sutton Bridge. Photo by Tim Wilson. SG310118-153TW.

No link has been established between flytipping, the lack of regular bin collections and the removal of a concrete bin from the picnic area last summer because of a row over who should empty it.

But vice-chairman Coun Simon Booth said: “There’s rubbish being dumped down there and, whatever we do, we’ve got to be careful that we don’t make the problem worse.

“But we’ve probably made it worse by taking the bin away because nobody took responsibility for it.”

Flytipping in Sutton Bridge generally was debated during Tuesday’s parish council meeting after figures released by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs last month showed that reports across South Holland in 2016/17 had jumped by 122 per cent compared to the previous year.

People who dump rubbish cost us all money because there’s an expense involved in clearing it up

Coun John Grimwood, chairman of Sutton Bridge Parish Council

Parish council chairman Coun John Grimwood said: “People who dump rubbish cost us all money because there’s an expense involved in clearing it up.

“I don’t think you’ll ever stamp it out but if you can reduce it, that lessens what is a scar not only on Sutton Bridge, but everywhere.

“I’d be prepared to take my trailer and empty the bins in the picnic area myself because it’s a facility we need to encourage people to use.

“There’s a lot of people who go down there already but, as a village, we don’t appreciate what we’ve got and it’s an area we need to promote as a place to bring people to in Sutton Bridge.”

Problems with fly-tipping at the derelict Bridge Hotel were also raised, as well as safety fears due to an unsecured fire escape, window and signage.

Councillors agreed to ask South Holland District Council to “make the building safe”.

• Parish councillors are to check the law as they try to tackle dog fouling in Memorial Park.

But any chance of Sutton Bridge following Holbeach and Long Sutton Parish Councils in creating a dog run appears doomed after parish and district councillor Michael Booth suggested it would be a waste of public money.

During January’s council meeting, a complaint was read out from a parent of two daughters who regularly saw dog mess in the park and owners who let pets off their leads, despite notices not to do so.

Coun John Grimwood, parish council chairman, said: “I’ve walked across the park and dog mess is an ongoing thing.

“The way forward is to get our clerk to check the legislation because we’ve either got to implement the byelaw for people to keep their dogs on a lead, put a bigger sign up to encourage them to do so or ask the dog warden to come down.”

New parish councillor Terry York, who was co-opted at December’s meeting, suggested that a fenced-off dog run area could solve the fouling problem.

But Coun Booth said: “I don’t believe we should force ratepayers to pay money out for people to exercise their dogs.

“They should be responsible and look after their dogs.”