Appeal to stop fly-tipping

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LAST week’s story relating to the illegal dumping of litter in parts of North Antrim, has prompted a local councillor to highlight another incident in the Glens.

Independent Moyle District Councillor, Colum Thompson, said he was recently contacted by a member of the public about the issue of fly-tipping on the Middlepark Road in Cushendall.

In a statement Councillor Thompson said: “When I went to inspect the area in question I found an entire double bed and mattress had been dumped at the side of the road.

“Given that it was the start of the Easter holidays, rather than phoning and waiting for a council lorry to come and pick it up I took the bed and mattress to the amenity site in Ballycastle myself. We are at the start of the summer season and fly-tipping is the last thing we need here in The Glens.

“The businesses in the area rely a great deal on the seasonal tourist trade and there is no way tourists will want to visit The Glens if people are dumping rubbish at the roadside.

“I would appeal to those responsible for this fly-tipping to stop immediately, I understand the problems people face in The Glens when they need to get rid of bulky items, our nearest amenity sites are at least 14 miles away and with the cost of petrol and diesel spiralling upwards it has now become a costly process.

“The problem is even worse for those people who do not have access to transport, but please think before you throw your rubbish at the side of the road, think about the effects that it will have on the tourist industry and on the environment.

“If someone really is having problems getting rid of bulky household items then please contact me, I’m sure I could arrange some sort of help rather than having rubbish dumped across the countryside.”

Meanwhile, last week’s article relating to the dumping issue referred to findings of a TIDY Northern Ireland litter fine survey which was sourced on the internet.

It has since been made clear by Mr. Chris Allen, from TIDY Northern Ireland that the information was out of date.

In correspondence, Mr Allen stated: “I write in reference to the piece published in your in the Ballymoney and Moyle Times regarding litter.

“Whilst we agree that litter is an unconscionable blight on our countryside, and are very keen to have the issue highlighted as often as possible, I must point out several issues with this story.

“In general, it appears that the information is several years out of date: the Environment and Heritage Service for Northern Ireland was rebranded as the Northern Ireland Environment Agency in mid-2008; Ian Cole moved on as Chief Executive of TIDY Northern Ireland and our litter fine survey was carried out in the same year.

“In particular, the official DoENI figures for the number of Fixed Penalty Notices issued in FY 2010-2011 shows that all councils in Northern Ireland have been issuing FPNs and also where necessary taking forward prosecutions. The figures indicate that 3930 FPNs were issued, 2981 were paid and there were 133 prosecutions for non-payment.

“Fines handed down to those prosecuted totalled £7707, or an average of around £58 each. Ballymoney DC issued 6 FPNS in this period of which 4 were paid, with the other 2 unsuccessfully prosecuted. Moyle DC issued 7, with 5 paid and 2 unsuccessful prosecutions for non-payment.

“These figures, along with the analogous figures for dog fouling, were compiled by and are freely available from the DoENI.

“I thank you for highlighting this on-going issue, and would draw your attention to the BIG Spring Clean campaign being run throughout April, co-ordinated by TIDY Northern Ireland and carried out by volunteers. We have 150 clean-up events currently registered, with 4 on the beaches of Moyle.

“You can find out more about this on the website: www.bigspringcleanni.org”