Stranded by fly-tipping menace

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A woman was left stranded after a huge pile of rubbish was dumped in a back alley near homes.

Neighbours have today been urged to report any information about the fly-tippers after they struck in an alley behind Victoria Street, Lytham.

Helen Harrison, a retired teacher, had been planning to take her one-year-old granddaughter Brody to Blackpool Zoo, but the family’s Vauxhall Corsa, complete with baby seat, was trapped in the garage after the pile of rubbish – weighing in at an estimated 1.5 tonnes and including items such as a mattress and an old toilet – was dumped during the evening.

Mrs Harrison said: “It is very worrying that something like this can take place in a residential area.

“We had been out and were alerted to it by a neighbour. I couldn’t believe what I saw when I went round the back and saw it.

“The alley was completely blocked and there was no chance of getting the car containing the baby seat out of our garage.

“It amazes me that anyone can dare to do this outside someone’s home.

“We called the police right away but were told it would have to wait for the council to clear it in the morning and in the end it was lunchtime, although I have to say they did a great job.

“We had been planning to take Brody to the zoo but couldn’t move the car from the garage or consider using our other one because the baby seat was inside.

“Anyone who has set off for work at a certain time would have been completely stranded. This has to be stopped.”

Fylde councillor Mark Bamforth, whose St John’s ward covers Victoria Street, said: “I would urge people to be vigilant and help us stamp this out.

“We know fly-tipping goes on but it has previously been in rural areas, generally away from homes. They seem to be getting more daring now and don’t seem to care how they inconvenience people.

“Hopefully there is some CCTV of this incident which would help fund the culprits. But this must be stopped and I would ask anyone who sees anything to report it to the police or to the council.”

A Fylde Council spokesman added: “The number of fly-tipping incidents has increased from 20 to 30 per month three years ago to 30 to 40 per month now.

“The reason for the overall increase is unclear. Many are very small incidents but all are an eyesore and all are removed by council staff.

“What has changed is the nature of the incidents.

“There has been increased surveillance at the traditional fly-tip hotspots in rural areas and that appears to have driven fly-tippers into urban areas. We are keeping on top of removing the rubbish by authorising bin collection staff to remove it when they see it.”

He added: “At the moment our environmental health staff investigate for clues such as addresses on letters and then the bin staff remove the waste.

“We are now training staff to search through the rubbish for clues as to the fly-tippers before it is removed.

“We urge members of the public to telephone us on (01253) 658658 when they see something and we will investigate.”

Sue Blackburn, Watch Liaison Officer for Lancashire Police, said: “Fly tipping is illegal and it has been a problem across Blackpool and the Fylde coast for the past few months.

“Recently there has been a dramatic increase.

“Anyone who witnesses a vehicle fly tipping is asked to take down the vehicle registration number, type and colour of vehicle and get a description of the driver and passengers then phone Fylde Council on (01253) 658658.

They shouldn’t try and take matters into their own hands.

“Environmental Health deal with fly tipping and, if there is a road or pathway blockage because of fly tipping, they send out someone from the Cleansing Department to clear it up.

“Anyone with CCTV footage of the offenders should let the council know so they can view it.

“With the public’s assistance in reporting fly tipping, the culprits will be stopped.”