A disused construction yard in Ardrossan’s Park Road has been targeted by fly-tippers, just weeks after a senior North Ayrshire Council official claimed there had been no increase in such activities since the local authority introduced charges for uplifting unwanted household items.
The yard, formerly operated by McLaughlin Construction, has seen furniture, a television and children’s games dumped over the last few days, turning the area into an eyesore.
At a recent meeting of NAC’s Scrutiny & Petitions Committee, councillors questioned the conclusions of a report compiled by Ms Laura Friel, the Council’s Corporate Director (Finance), which contained the claim that there had been no increase in fly-tipping since charges were introduced for ‘special uplifts’.
Members of the Committee discussed a request to ‘call-in’ a decision by the Council’s Labour Executive in the previous administration, which had simply noted Ms Friel’s report and its conclusions. The request had been submitted by three Independent councillors - Ronnie McNicol (Saltcoats & Stevenston), John Hunter (Ardrossan & Arran) and Robert Barr (Dalry & West Kilbride).
Cllr McNicol had previously argued that the introduction of charges for special uplifts had led to a noticeable increase in fly-tipping in the Three Towns, and he revealed it was costing the local authority more to remove items illegally dumped than they were taking-in from charges for special uplifts. As a result, Ronnie McNicol proposed that the charges be removed.
Following discussion of Cllr McNicol’s proposal, councillors agreed that officers should produce a review of the charges. However, when the Finance Director submitted her report on the issue, it failed to address the concerns raised regarding charges for special uplifts, and stated there had been no increase in fly-tipping. This was despite official Council figures showing instances of fly-tipping collected by the local authority had more than doubled in the year after charges were levied.
The Scrutiny & Petitions Committee concluded that a more detailed report from Ms Friel was required, in order that they could decide what recommendations, if any, regarding fly-tipping and charges for special uplifts should be made to the Council’s ruling SNP Cabinet.
The further report from the Corporate Director will be submitted to a future meeting of the Scrutiny & Petitions Committee, which is chaired by Cllr Hunter.