HUNDREDS of Broadgreen households have received a note through the door this month warning them of the penalties of dumping waste outside their homes.

Swindon Borough Council issued the letters, translated into around a dozen languages, in its latest attempt to crack down on fly-tipping in the area’s terraced streets and maze of back alleys.

The borough last month promised a push to prosecute those responsible for dumping litter.

But residents and councillors in Broadgreen said, in effect, that they would believe it when the see it.

Pam Freegard, who has lived in the neighbourhood for almost six decades, said: “I live in hope there’s going to be a big improvement in the area.

Swindon Advertiser:

Mattresses dumped in an alleyway off Graham Street

“I just think people should be more responsible for what they are putting out in their backs. I’ve lived here for 57 years and over the last 10 years it’s deteriorated. It’s people moving in and out and people not taking responsibility for their own rubbish.”

In the letter sent by Swindon Borough Council to hundreds of homes in the area, the waste enforcement team wrote: “High volumes of large household items such as sofas, fridges, freezers, furniture and mattresses are being dumped in the Broadgreen area. Dumping of these items is illegal and will attract a £400 fine.”

Anyone needing to get rid of these larger items would need to arrange collection through the council’s bulky waste collection service or get the rubbish taken away by a someone registered as a private waste carrier.

Swindon Advertiser:

Waste dumped in an alleyway off Graham Street

The letter added: “Please also be aware that general household waste is being dumped illegally and this creates a very poor environment for residents.”

Speaking after a meeting of South Swindon Parish Council’s planning committee this week, where the letter was discussed, parish councillor for the area John Firmin called for more court prosecutions of those caught fly-tipping.

He welcomed a slight increase in the number of enforcement officers being hired by the borough. But he added: “It’s a marginal gain. It’s not going to end it.”

Eventually, the borough would get lucky: “We need some cases going to court and some significant fines.”

Fly-tipping is a criminal offence. Magistrates can order those convicted to pay a fine of up to £50,000 or sentence them to up to 12 months imprisonment.

Broadgreen has battled with issues around fly-tipping for a number of years.

Swindon Advertiser:

Coun Junab Ali

In March, mayor Coun Junab Ali snapped at borough officers presenting to a parish council meeting. The central ward councillor said: “I’ve been hearing this for the last 12 years. I don’t buy it anymore.

“It’s the same old chat. Real action has to be taken.”

Following those comments, the Advertiser walked all the alleyways in Broadgreen to hunt in the rubbish. We found everything from dumped fridges and vintage television to the body of a dead rat in a burned out waste pile and even a bottle of urine.

Report fly-tipping to the council online: