'WFT' message from council to people living in part of Merseyside

Skyline view overlooking Bootle town centre leading over to the docks
-Credit: (Image: LDRS)

Sefton Council has launched a new campaign after complaints of fly-tipping have soared in one part of Merseyside.

The new campaign, #WFT (Why Fly-Tip?), has started in parts of Bootle where properties have shared rear entries. It will soon move on to tackle fly-tipping in other areas.

Cllr Peter Harvey, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Cleansing and Street Scene said: “When you look at the creatures you may find, along with the diseases they may carry, that you might find living and breeding on your back doorstep in abandoned furniture, the inevitable question is ‘Why Fly-Tip? or as our campaign says, #WFT.”

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Rats, mice and flies love the environment which fly-tipping creates, which allows them to breed and multiply. Rats cause infections such as leptospirosis, hantavirus, rat-bite fever and a type of meningiti, which can be transmitted to people.

House flies can transmit around 65 diseases including salmonella, E coli 0157 and campylobacter which can cause food poisoning, leading to diarrhoea and vomiting.

Cllr Harvey said: “It costs the council a six-figure sum every year to remove and dispose of it and that’s hundreds of thousands of pounds that could otherwise be spent on important local services to benefit people in the borough and nice things.

"That is why where we can trace the culprits, we will take enforcement action against them, which means they could receive Fixed Penalty Notices or be faced with prosecution."

Council refuse teams have already moved into the target area to start clearing shared rear entries of dumped rubbish. Weeds and overhanging vegetation will also be cleared.

Partners pictured include One Vision Housing, Riverside, Plus Dane, Onward Housing, Prima Housing, Crosby Housing and Merseyside Police. Also pictured are Sefton Council enforcement and cleansing staff with Derby Ward councillors Brenda O'Brien (front left - black coat and red top) and Dave Robinson (front left - blue coat). Councillor Peter Harvey is pictured centre, with Councillor Liz Dowd to his left.

After these clearances, staff will be calling door-to-door on daily visits handing out information. They will talk to residents about the potential hazards as well as reminding them of their household duty of care and the services available.

Often, items of furniture can be passed on to local people who need them. The council works with local charities who collect furniture that is in good condition and can be re-used, free of charge. Alternatively, the council can collect up to three bulky waste items for £14.

Residents will also be reminded of their responsibilities to dispose of rubbish and that the council can and will take enforcement action where necessary.

Sefton Council is also working with residents in the areas affected to start clearing the rubbish. Staff will be doing daily visits talking to residents about potential hazards.

Cllr Liz Dowd, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Partnership Engagement said: “It’s important that we all work together to tackle the issue of fly-tipping. Not only is it an eyesore within the community, it creates a potential hazard for local residents. The illegal dumping of waste affects our fire service, utilities staff, landlords and police.”

Fly-tipping complaints can be made to Sefton Council at www.sefton.gov.uk/fly-tipping or by calling 0345 140 0845.

For more information on the #WFT campaign, see www.sefton.gov.uk/WFT.

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