Council ‘fly-tipping’ gaffe

Fly-tipping at the Batley Bats monument

Fly-tipping at the Batley Bats monument

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Kirklees Council has admitted to using the Batley Bats Monument as a pick-up point for sacks of rubbish.

Following previous reports about fly-tipping at the statue and Station Road area, it has emerged that the spot was being used as a collection point for the council’s street cleaners.

The council has said that a new site has been found for the “temporary” location – and said they are making efforts to find out which traders and others are now also leaving refuse there.

Councillor Gwen Lowe said: “I was absolutely shocked and appalled.

“It’s totally unacceptable that they think it’s okay to have rubbish bags at such an iconic statue in Batley.

“They wouldn’t leave them around Harold Wilson in St George’s Square.”

Hanging Heaton resident Simon Fairfield, 63, first raised the issue.

The retired Yorkshire Water business development manager said: “I think it is utterly disgraceful that Kirklees Council, who have a responsibility for maintaining and regenerating local towns such as Batley, are dumping rubbish at such an iconic location.

“I can’t believe that when the decision was made by the council to start dumping rubbish there nobody took a moment to think that given the location it perhaps might not be a good idea.”

Coun Lowe (Lab, Batley West) said she has asked for the issue to be included on the agenda at a meeting with neighbourhood management groups next Tuesday.

A spokesman for Kirklees Council said: “As a temporary measure, this location has been used as a collection point for our manual sweepers to leave collected waste for pick up.

“Unfortunately it has come to our attention that other people or traders are fly-tipping their own bags of rubbish at this site, often without fully securing the bags.

“As a result we have now changed the collection point and are gathering evidence to identify those who have fly-tipped at the site.”

The gaffe comes after the council has put a controversial new policy in place for getting rid of household waste at the district’s tips.

Plastic permit cards are being phased out and Kirklees residents must now pre-register their vehicles online.