Man has to dismantle mobility scooter every time he wants to go out due to flytipping


Residents on a West Marsh street are being plagued with piles of dumped rubbish, sharp objects, broken glass and rats in the alleyway behind their homes.

The neighbors on Dover Street in Grimsby say the problem is only getting worse and is becoming a health hazard. One disabled man is even considering moving away because the rubbish has hindered his ability to access the street on his mobility scooter, which he now has to dismantle every time he wants to go out.

The residents say they have contacted North East Lincolnshire Council multiple times, but are told each time that the alleyway is “private property” and the clearing of the fly-tipping is out of their control. They say NELC refused to install gates into the alleyway several years ago after one resident objected against the proposal – but claim gates are needed at three different points to stop people from entering the area to dump their rubbish.

Read more: Man’s fury as a mountain of fly-tipping dumped in alleyway after he cleared it

Craig Duncan, a resident on Dover Street, told Grimsby Live: “I moved in to the property in 2018 and when I first moved in, there was only a small pile of rubbish situated out the back of my property and a little towards the Ripon Street end. But over the last four years, we’ve seen it build up.

“During lockdown last year, between five and seven of the residences in the Dover Street, Ripon Street and Lord Street area got together and it was a process, because we contacted the Council and they said they wouldn’t move any rubbish because it was private land. So it was a process of us having to gradually just take a couple of the black bin bags and put them in our personal bins to get them moved that way.

Stephen Cochrane, Craig Duncan, Paul Robinson, Abraham Robinson and Michelle Robinson with the fly-tipping in their alleyway on Dover Street, Grimsby
(Image: GrimsbyLive / Donna Clifford)

“But since then in the last year, it has got to the position it’s in now. We suspect it’s some of the residents living in the area but there has been industrial tipping because there has been rubble and things like that, dumped.

“A lot of it is people moving into new houses in the area and the houses haven’t been properly cleaned by the landlords, because we’ve seen rubbish in the gardens that have then been dumped in that alleyway. We’ve found evidence of people in the area fly-tipping and residents have gone to those doors, but they’ve moved out before anything can be done.

“At the moment, our biggest concern is vermin and flies and access. We can’t get our bins in and out that back alley because it’s overgrown and full of rubbish, so they’re now on the street and we’re not supposed to to keep them there.

“But the biggest problem is the danger to trip and fall. There’s sharp objects, glass, and the rubbish is attracting rats. It’s not nice. You’ve got families and if there’s rats urinating everywhere, children could get ill.”

The fly-tipping in the Dover Street alleyway in Grimsby
The fly-tipping in the Dover Street alleyway in Grimsby
(Image: GrimsbyLive / Donna Clifford)

Another resident, Stephen Cochrane, said: “It’s terrible. There’s bags everywhere, wardrobes, you name it. There’s rats there. It’s a fire risk. We shouldn’t have to live like this. A bunch of us cleared it all up but then it gets fly-tipped again. We’ve been saying to the Council that they need to put gates on. “

Craig continued: “We’ve contacted the Council several times and they just say that it’s private land and it’s not their responsibility. They won’t take the rubbish away. They’ve suggested residents getting together and paying for a skip, but that would involve us cleaning somebody else’s rubbish up and obviously there’s a health concern there, because we might not have the proper protective equipment to be moving other people’s rubbish.

"We shouldn't have to live like this"
“We shouldn’t have to live like this”
(Image: GrimsbyLive / Donna Clifford)

“We asked for gates, as well. They approached residents at some point prior to me moving in and one resident refused, so no gates were put in.

“The landlords are all individual so to find them would be a massive process of trying to track them down to see if they would be willing to potentially foot the cost. No-one seems to take responsibility for these areas of land, so it would be nice if we knew who was responsible and we would tackle that issue directly with them.

“At the moment, the general consensus with people is that it’s a problem that is ongoing. We can’t police everyone who moves into properties on that block, and people are coming and going all the time. So we’re now at the point where it’s a problem that we can’t get on top of. “

Craig’s next door neighbor, Paul Robinson – who uses a mobility scooter – said the issue with fly-tipping in the alleyway has impacted his ability to get around. He said: “When we moved here, I used to use the back alleyway because I stored my scooter in the back yard and if I was going out on it, I’d just go out my back gate, go through the alleyway and drive. off into town.

“Now, I have to break it down into separate parts, bring it through the house and put it back together at the front door. I can’t get it through the alleyway these days because there’s just too much rubbish there.

They say the problem has only got worse over the years
They say the problem has only got worse over the years
(Image: GrimsbyLive / Donna Clifford)

“We love the location of the house, close to town and close to family, but we’re actually thinking of moving purely because of the rubbish. We’ve got CCTV cameras on our back gate and the people who do it, they literally look at the camera while they do it and smirk. Because they know there’s no consequence to what they’re doing. I think it’s a mixture of residents on the street and random people, but we don’t know who is doing it.

“All we keep getting told is that it’s private land and the Council can’t do anything. I’ve emailed, phoned, sent pictures – but you just come up against a brick wall. Everyone’s just trying to pass the book because they don ‘t want to deal with it.

“We just absolutely hate it, it’s awful. It’s getting worse and worse day by day.”

An NELC spokesperson said: “We sympathize with households who live next to alleyways that are blighted by fly-tipping. Alleyways are private property and the Council is not responsible for clearing them.

“Residents need agreement from all the relevant households before fitting gates on an alleyway. The Council does not fund the installation or upkeep of gated alleyway projects.

“Earlier in the year, we launched a new scheme where people can apply for our support when clearing an alleyway. This scheme is now closed, but it is something we may consider running again in the future. ”

He added: “Councils from other parts of the country have told us they experience similar problems with privately owned alleyways, it is a national problem and not unique to this area. Fly-tipping is illegal.

“It could be avoided if people disposed of their waste correctly. We need strong evidence that will stand up in court to investigate fly-tipping offenses.

“If someone saw rubbish being dumped in the alley or has CCTV footage and are prepared to give us a witness statement of this, then we will investigate. We take environmental enforcement seriously and during April and May this year, we issued 18 fixed penalty notices for fly-tipping following enforcement investigations. Report fly-tipping to us at www.nelincs.gov.uk/flytipping.

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