Fly-tipping and Illegal Dumping — [SIR MARK HENDRICK in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 2:47 pm on 24 May 2022.

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Photo of Robbie Moore Robbie Moore Conservative, Keighley 2:47, 24 May 2022

It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Sir Mark. I thank my hon. Friend Saqib Bhatti for securing this important debate. We can see from the number of Members in attendance how significant this issue is across our constituencies. This debate is important for me because certain areas in my constituency are plagued by fly-tippers. As many have said, fly-tipping and illegal dumping can ruin the experience of residents and visitors.

The Worth valley in my constituency, one of the most beautiful parts of the country, is the place that inspired the Brontë sisters and is home to some of Yorkshire’s finest tourist attractions. Too often, when one drives through this rural landscape, bin bags, discarded objects and even hazardous material can be seen dumped and discarded at the side of the road.

Only in April this year, hundreds of dumped tyres were found on Nab Water Lane in Oxenhope in the middle of the Worth valley. In November last year, a large number of household waste items, such as mattresses, cots and bags of rubbish, were dumped in East Morton cemetery, near Riddlesden, where Captain Sir Tom Moore is buried. It is an absolute disgrace that individuals feel they can get away with that. In April 2021, 225 tyres were dumped on the top of Ilkley Moor. That illustrates that we are not talking about little bits of rubbish being dumped here and there. This is organised crime, which we must get on top of.

This is not just happening in the rural parts of my constituency. In the centre of Keighley, some of the back streets, particularly the back lane to Cavendish Street, are hard hit, with residents finding numerous bits of dumped rubbish. That causes huge amounts of havoc and distress for many people living and working in the area.

The figures stand out. Nationally, 1.13 million incidents of fly-tipping have been recognised over the past year. Within the Bradford district alone, last year there were 2,000 fly-tipping incidents, with 50 fly-tipping fixed penalty notices given out and five vehicles that had been involved in environmental crime seized. In Keighley itself, 2,500 fly-tipping incidents have been reported over the past two and a half years. Keighley Central ward had the highest number, with 771 recorded; it was closely followed by the Worth valley—one of the most rural parts of the constituency—which saw 522.

We have to get to grips with this problem and get on top of it. Funding is absolutely vital, but we also need a name-and-shame strategy. To hold these individuals to account, let us have the names of anyone who gets a fixed penalty notice branded across the constituency. We have had Travellers visit Ilkley and leave behind huge amounts of vegetation—green waste. They have clearly gone around the town, approached residents and asked how much they can pay to get rid of their green waste, and then they have left it on private and council property so that the taxpayer has to pay to get rid of it. This cannot continue.

We also need to be smarter about installing more CCTV cameras and using technology to investigate and explore the rubbish that has been dumped so that we can work back and hold those criminals to account, in order to get on top of this horrendous issue that blights us all.