A LABOUR councillor for Grays has reacted with anger at plans that could see her residents footing the bill for cleaning alleyways.
Last week, the Tory-run Thurrock Council laid out plans to deal with increasing fly tipping in alleyways.
Grays Thurrock councillor, Cathy Kent said: “It’s imperative people who own homes with back alleys know they could face huge bills from Thurrock Council,”
Cllr Kent was invited to respond to the suggestions of an officer group looking at proposing a specific council policy to deal with fly-tipping on private land, and specifically at back alley ways.
Cllr Kent said: “We asked the public for their comments and we asked councillors too. I put forward some ideas myself, but none were presented in the report which eventually made its way to cabinet last week.
“Many were only interested in prevention, and I cannot somehow see gates or so-called hard-targeting being installed at each end of the hundreds of private alleys across the borough.
“Victorian-built homes and council houses often have these alleys and many people have their cars garaged in their back gardens, gardens only accessible through the alley.
“While I agree prevention is best, we must look at what happens when some thoughtless person decides to tip their rubbish, blocking an alley way.
“Our council is now planning on forcing the neighbouring home-owners to pay.
“That’s got to be wrong.
“I was over-ruled and ignored in February, now I fear the first people will know is when the bill arrives through their letterbox – later followed by the court summons no doubt.
“I put forward a number of ideas including providing weekend skips to give a convenient way for residents to dispose of bulky refuse, working with landlords to prevent fly tipping and suggesting the council should seek a business partner, a sponsor who would inject a year’s worth of cash into Keeping Thurrock Tidy, and in return the council will ensure that company’s name is seen across the borough council owned land or buildings. I’m sure somebody would come forward.
“But no, our council and it’s officers have gone for the easy option – make the people pay.”