Despite the council’s pledge to ‘toughen up’ on fly tippers, the streets of Newham remain among the worst in the UK for dumping rubbish.
Sofas, beds, black bags and even coffins – there are just some of the items of street waste you can expect to see whilst walking around the borough.
In 2016 Newham was listed as the country’s worst area for fly-tipping by head of population, according to figures released by the Department of Food and Rural Affairs. Newham Council recorded more than 70,000 incidents of fly-tipping.
After these figures were released, Newham Council launched its £1 million Keep Newham Clean campaign, including a fly-tipping enforcement team with the power to issue £400 fixed penalties, weekend street-cleaning, letters sent to all Newham residences at a cost of £135,000, and residential visits to update local people about the scheme. There is also the Love Newham App, suggested by constituents at East Ham MP Stephen Timms’ surgery, which allows people to report incidents in an instant. Yet none of these initiatives seems to have done much to reduce the scale of Newham’s fly-tipping problem.
At a meeting with their MP, East Ham residents spoke of their continuing concerns about fly-tipping and called for an even stronger stance. Many attendees felt that the council is not taking their complaints seriously enough and that its responses are too ‘generic’.
Newham Council issued 1,955 penalty notices last year and prosecuted 318 people, but for these residents the local authority’s ‘strong’ approach to fly-tipping is not nearly strong enough.