Conservative Councillor Steve Jones is calling for stronger action to be taken against the alleged culprits responsible for fly-tipping on public open space in his ward.
The Council is faced with another costly clean-up operation after an illegal encampment of travellers was moved on from land at Craydon Road in Stockwood.
Coincidentally, residents had recently reported being offered cheap waste clearance by travelling trash traders in this part of the city. Such cash-in-hand offers deliberately undercut the Council’s own bulky waste collection service (£25 for up to three items) or that provided by fully licensed operators – who have to pay fees to use official household recycling facilities.
However, instead of lawfully disposing of this material, it appears that the travellers concerned simply dumped tonnes of rubbish – including mattresses, old furniture - in council-owned woodland next to their impromptu camp, when the site was vacated last week.
Now, council contractors are left with the task of clearing (industrial scale) waste and litter and local taxpayers will pick up the bill. Both the local councillors Steve Jones and Graham Morris are working with officials on finding ways to secure the land from future unlawful access.
Cllr Jones (Con, Stockwood) said: “Local people are sick and tired of having to pay the cost of cleaning up and making good the land after these traveller incursions.
“The mountain of waste left behind this time was quite appalling.
“Every spring, Bristol residents gird themselves for the beginning of the travelling season, and await the incidents of anti-social behaviour to crop up which are often associated with this kind of trespass.
“Often the travellers themselves refuse to use the temporary pitches provided for them by the authority at Kingsweston Lane.
“Of course, the law requires hard evidence before it can proceed against any fly-tippers.
“However, in this instance, there does appear to be a very high degree of circumstantial culpability pointing to the identity of these offenders.
“Therefore, I want to see the police and Crown Prosecution to actively pursue this group to try, if possible, to secure some convictions.
“Interestingly, Labour in their latest manifesto actually wants to offer even stronger protections to this community, including ‘the right to lead a nomadic way of life.’
“Well, all of us are entitled to equal treatment and that right also imposes obligations on both the settled and travelling population to live within the law.”
CONTACT STEVE JONES tel: 07392108808