THERE are calls for more action to stamp out the flytipping problem in central Swindon.

New Conservative councillor Lourenco Fernandes of the central ward posted on Facebook photos of before and after of an alleyway near B&M that had been littered with cardboard, plastic, sofas, and unwanted beds.

He said: “Residents had told me about the problem behind the B&M store and it was a mixture of many different things including sofas. It’s a problem all over the ward, many people have kept me updated about the flytipping and I’m working to get central Swindon tidied up.

“It’s everywhere. People can help by reporting it or not flytipping, because it’s not about me, it’s about keeping the town clean.”

He said he had received reports of the problem in Broad Street, County Road, and nearby.

And he’s in talks with MP Robert Buckland on how to tackle the issue for the long term.

Labour say a lack of funding from the Tory administration is part of the probelm. 

He said: “Residents have raised their concerns around illegal activity in the area, including flytipping, drug activity, and that’s why I’m working with Robert Buckland, to make this a better place to live in.

“I’m showing him the problems in the area, what I plan to do to tackle them, and to ask for his support in doing this.

“I have a few ideas on what we could including community officers to patrol the alleyways to stop all sorts of crimes occurring. If we can do this it will be hard for people to flytip without being caught. I want to make it safe for children to play in the streets and to walk in the alleyways.”

The Adver reported last month that only one per cent of flytippers received a fine between 2019 and 2020. And the town placed 66th out of 315 areas listed in rankings which determine the parts of the UK that deal most effectively with the issue.

During this period out of 1,504 incidents, Swindon Borough Council issued 17 fixed penalty notices - this is just 1.13 per cent of the total.

Mr Buckland said: “This is an issue that I have been wrestling with for a number of years and I’m very please councillor Fernandes is standing up for local residents so soon after his successful election.

“I am keen to explore all ways in which this scourge can be tackled.”

Labour councillor, Adorabelle Shaikh, of the central ward has said a lack of funding has been the source of not being able to improve the area.

She said: "I've been a councillor for two years and if it's not every day it's every other day, there's flytipping within the ward. The frustrating thing for me is that there's a lack of funding because Swindon Borough Council say they don't have it, or there's not enough staff to go and do rounds. It's like we're all agreeing there's a problem, and it's great Lourenco and Robert want to do something about it, but for the last couple of decades nothing has happened within the ward to make a difference and make residents feel safe.

"I've raised this issue so many times, the residents and I would get together within a community centre in Broadgreen before Covid to talk about the problems. Besides flytipping, which is not the only issue, there's drugs being taken in the alleyways, children are unable to play in parks because of drugs being taken, and there's prostitution.

"Labour has been asking for CCTV in the area, more patrols, and more funding, but it never happens."