FED up councillors are taking action to tackle the growing issue of flytipping in their area.

Central Swindon North Parish Council posted a picture on social media picture showing a huge pile of garbage dumped outside the Chapel Street depot in Gorse Hill last week to highlight the problem.

Parish clerk Andy Reeves warned flytippers that evidence gathering was being stepped up in a bid to pursue prosecutions and recover the cost of clearing up.

He said: “Whenever there’s flytipping, we the parish council, clear the waste, but Swindon Borough Council is the enforcement authority. Whenever we can find any evidence to pass on to them, we will do so.

“We will often look through the waste, see whether there’s any evidence that we can see and, in some cases, we have been able to locate an address and pass that address on.”

He said flytipping has got significantly worse recently.

“It’s around Gorse Hill that we are having problems and councillors are trying to work really hard to keep on top of it,” he said. "I think enforcement is the key to try and prevent the further escalation. We’ve had some houses of multiple occupation in the area as well, and we know that some of the waste is sometimes being created where renovations take place.”

The council noticed a huge spike during lockdown last year. “People were doing home renovations and the household recycling centre was closed. So things sort of spiralled out of control. And then they got marginally better when the recycling centre reopened, but now they seem to be picking up again.”

Children’s toys, cupboards, sofas, and fridges are some of the items left on the streets.

Gorse Hill and Pinehurst councillor Carol Shelley said she received regular phone calls from residents complaining about fly-tipping on their streets. “They complain that dumping obstructs access and that it looks awful and smells. It can be on private land in which case residents have to remove it themselves.”

“Flytipping has becoming an increasing problem.It’s a worry because it costs the local tax payer and it’s not always obvious what has been tipped. Toxic rubbish a potential danger to local children and other residents as well as the people who clear it.

“Just last week, I helped someone with fly-tipped fridge outside their home. It’s becoming an ever-increasing issue I’m dealing with as a local councillor.”

Coun Shelley said Swindon Borough Council could do much better with enforcement to catch flytippers.

She added: “SBC have not been seen to have a robust enough enforcement regime to catch flytippers, therefore a minority have taken advantage. If rubbish on the streets becomes ‘normal’ in an area people seem to add to it.

“Lots of people have done a ‘lockdown’ clear out at a time when access has been restricted at the local dump. Not everyone has space to store things they don’t need any more.”

The councillor said she wants to see a local education campaign to raise awareness about the impact and legal consequences of flytipping.

A Swindon Borough Council spokesperson said: “We have not received any reports of flytipping in the Central North parish area so have not been able to take the appropriate action.

“We do have a dedicated team that go out to clear any flytipping we have been made aware of and we will take strong action against offenders once they are identified.

“In order for us to take action, we need to be made aware of the problem in the first place and therefore ask anyone who spots any kind of flytipping to report it to us.”