A grant of £50,000 has been awarded to Thanet council as part of a pilot scheme to tackle fly-tipping.
The money, distributed by charity Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) will be used to target fly-tipping hotspots at Athelstan and Ethelbert Roads in Cliftonville through more enforcement, increased CCTV coverage and raising awareness.
Some funding will also be used to create a second community shed project in Ramsgate where volunteers can access tools for litter picking or gardening.
The Cliftonville roads have been plagued by the ongoing saga of fly-tipping and missed rubbish collections despite the removal of hated communal bins at the end of October 2020.
The paladin bins at each end of Athelstan Road were supposed to be for community use by residents in the area that do not have access to a residential refuse area.
But the bins had been a continual hotspot for dumping of everything from used nappies to household furniture. They were removed but fly-tipping, especially in the area of the former car wash site, continued.
The new project will include alleyway gating in Athelstan Road – with the opportunity to create a linear community garden- and CCTV.
The measures were requested by Athelstan Road Tenants & Residents’ Association (Artra) and then put forward by Thanet Multi-agency Task Force (MTF). A initial bid to the Home Office failed but has now been secured through the WRAP scheme.
An Artra spokesperson said: “Artra await finalisation of precisely where the gates will be placed, given that there are several alleyway access points, each of which in themselves have been used for fly tipping and criminal activity for very many years.
“Artra was interested in pursuing a community consultation on the whole matter, which was proposed recently by Secretary Joe Bacon, but as this is in part a police matter, due to the weight of reported crime occurring over a very significant period of time – prostitution, drug dealing, environmental crime, violent assault etc. – the option for debating the merits of gating the alleyway wasn’t possible.
“Artra hope to hold community events jointly, for both the Ethelbert and Athelstan communities, prior to any community linear garden activity, so tenants and residents can discuss options and dates for preparatory alleyway sanitation prior to organising and agreeing actual community gardening session dates and times.
“Artra very much hope this proves to be a positive move to collectively create a tranquil community space, which becomes a valued community asset, not somewhere to dump cat litter, domestic waste, white goods and inject heroin and other hazardous activities.
“We would like to thank all Cliftonville West Ward TDC and KCC Councillors – Alan Currie, Heather Keen, Harry Scobie and Barry Lewis – for their ongoing support of Artra and the community, as well as Cllr Jill Bayford and our MP Craig Mackinlay, whose involvement at ARTRA meetings has helped add gravitas to the very many ongoing issues affecting our community.”
Thanet council says the aim is to increase prosecutions for fly-tipping but also to improve how the area looks and create more community ownership.
Cllr George Kup, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said: “The Thanet Multi-agency Task Force has been successful in applying for funding as part of Defra’s Fly-Tipping Intervention Grant Scheme. This pilot scheme, delivered by WRAP, provides capital funding for projects at known fly-tipping hot-spots where there is the potential to improve infrastructure, support enforcement activity and to raise awareness of the damaging nature of fly-tipping to local communities and the environment.
“Thanet District Council has been awarded £50,000 of funding as part of this trial, which will be used to support the ongoing project in Athelstan and Ethelbert Roads in Margate.
“The funding will enable us to put in place improved enforcement strategies for fly-tipping, and central to this will be the installation of additional CCTV cameras at key sites, to be monitored in real-time from our CCTV control room. Our ability to intervene with potential fly-tips will be increased, with the ultimate goal of increasing the number of prosecutions and positive outcomes for residents.
“The project aims to reduce the transience of families with low household incomes, by creating an improved sense of community through increased community ownership of shared spaces. The Task Force is working to improve the physical appearance of the local environment as well as encouraging wildlife, in line with our commitment to tackling the climate and biodiversity emergency.
“As part of this initiative, the funding from Defra will be used to develop a second community shed project in Ramsgate. Volunteers will be able to register to access the shed and tools for litter picking or gardening in their local area, with support from our Community Team and Open Spaces Team.”
Residents can contact the Community Safety team for more information on [email protected]”