FLYTIPPING in the stairwells and alleyways of flats in Hobs Moat is posing a health and fire risk, says a Solihull councillor.
Coun Kathryn Thomas (Lib Dem, Lyndon) has been tackling the issue for the last two years, together with colleagues, and even used £800 of ward funds as a one-off bid to clear the mess.
She’s also helped organise litter picks in the area and campaigned to get CCTV installed to cover the service road – only for the flytippers to just dump their rubbish in the stairwells of the flats.
“These are communal flats without one single owner,” she said.
“We might come across some flytipped rubbish and contact the council, only to be told it’s not on council land, so this is a really difficult issue.
“Some of the rubbish is clearly commercial but you also see a lot of mattresses and sofas and the problem is identifying who has dumped it.”
She said one flat had piles of bagged up rubbish outside it. Concerned about the welfare of the flat’s occupant and with the bags split open and becoming a health hazard, the police were contacted to carry out a ‘safe and well’ check – only to discover the flat was empty and the tenant was gone.
“It really is a problem when fly-tipping is on private property, particularly when you have absentee landlords,” said Coun Thomas.
Other problems in the stairwells include things as simple as changing the proverbial light bulb.
“It’s a question of finding the right landlord, and discovering that something that should be a five-minute job takes four hours over three weeks,” she said.
The ultimate solution, she says, could be as and when the borough council regenerates the area, but that is likely to be a some way off.
Is there flytipping in your area? Contact the Solihull Observer at email@example.com