FLY-TIPPING is on the rise in Harwich with weekly complaints of more rubbish dumped around the town, it has been claimed.

Harwich councillor Geoff Smith said he is being inundated with complaints about fly-tipping from around his ward, Harwich and Dovercourt Kingsway.

In the past few weeks he has been called about sofas and mattresses as well as black bin bags and a washing machine dumped at sites, including Albert Street in Harwich, Victoria Street, Mill Lane and the former Starlings site in Dovercourt.

He is now calling for action to tackle the unsightly mess and is blaming the new fortnightly rubbish collections for the problem.

He said: “Fly-tipping must be costing Tendring Council a fortune and that means our council tax is being spent clearing up someone else’s mess. It is costly, unsightly and unnecessary, and local residents are fed up with it.

“At the end of Victoria Street there was loads - it looks like people dumping stuff before they move, but that is just speculation. At the old Starlings site, some of the blue hoardings have come down and a washing machine, mattresses and rubbish have been chucked on there.”

Mr Smith said behind the Cliff Road homes furniture has been dumped next to a sign saying “no tipping” with information about fines for those caught.

He added: “It was obvious that the decision to go to two weekly refuse collections and to limit how much waste will be collected was going to increase fly-tipping, but there doesn’t appear to have been any thought given to combating the problem.

“Tendring Council officers are doing their best, but it is time that they were given some political leadership and support from the portfolio holder. Everyone else could see there was going to be a problem.”

Mr Smith said the problem with fly-tipping isn’t just in his ward, but across Harwich and Tendring and he is calling for a “strategic approach” which he believes is needed to counter the problem.

The Labour councillor is set to ask his fellow Harwich councillors who represent the town at Tendring Council to put this issue to the environment boss, Michael Talbot, and ask how much fly-tipping is costing the authority.

Councillor Michael Talbot, Tendring Council’s environment boss, said: “Tendring Council condemns all fly-tipping within the district. If the authority receives a fly-tipping complaint, then officers will investigate and act in accordance with their statutory powers.

“Fly-tipping concerns within areas of Harwich have been reported to the council and they are currently under investigation with clear-up due to take place.

“Historically, there have been a number of notable fly-tipping cases in these areas and the council is currently looking into measures to see how these can be reduced.

“There is nothing at this time to suggest connections to the introduction of the new waste collection service.

“The council responds promptly to reports of fly-tipping on public land, aiming to remove any fly-tipped material within 72 hours once assessed, however clearance can sometimes take longer if there is hazardous materials.”