Edinburgh's newest park hit by fly-tipping as row continues over pledge on free bulky uplifts

A huge pile of half-burned wooden boards in a city park is the latest evidence of the growing problem of fly-tipping across the Capital.

Wednesday, 17th November 2021, 4:55 am

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The unsightly mess was dumped in Edinburgh’s newest park at Little France and spotted by Evening News reader Anna Michna.

She said: “I was walking in Little France Park and I discovered this massive pile of half-burned kitchen furniture in the middle of cycle path.

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Fly-tipping at Little France Park

"It looks like whoever dumped this must have driven in from Craigmillar Castle Road because one of the black poles had been removed and left lying next to the bin.

“I haven't seen anything like that before in Little France Park.”

It comes after Lib Dem councillor Kevin Lang claimed the council’s SNP-Labour administration was preparing to abandon a pledge to bring back free bulky uplifts to tackle fly-tipping.

And today he repeated his call for the scrapping of the current £5 per item charge for special uplifts.

The removed pole suggests how the fly-tipper gained access

Official figures show that in the first five months of this year the council received 272 reports of fly-tipping compared with 486 for the whole of 2020/21.

At last week’s environment committee, Councillor Lang challenged convener Lesley Macinnes on whether the promise made by the SNP at the last council elections and included among the commitments in the coalition deal with Labour was still going to be delivered.

Councillor Macinnes said the matter would be covered in a report due to come to the committee next year, but she added it had been found elsewhere that making the service free did not make much difference. And she claimed free uplifts would involve an “enormous” cost.

But today Councillor Lang said: “The problem of fly-tipping across the city is bad and it’s getting worse every year. It seems as though the SNP-led administration think this is a problem that will solve itself, but it won’t. It needs changes to policies if we’re going to get changes in behaviour.

"That’s why there was a promise to get rid of the special uplifts charges and that’s a promise the administration are reneging on.

"It is a simple, straightforward and very effective change that would would make it easier and cheaper for people to have bulky waste collected and recycled from their homes.”

And he questioned Councillor Macinnes’s claims about the expense involved in the policy.

“The Lib Dem group looked into the costs of it and in our budget proposals earlier this year we included the money to cover the costs of it – and this was on the advice of officers who said it was affordable and reasonable for us to get rid of these charges.

"So I do not understand what has changed, first from the time the administration made the promise because I presume they made the promise with the facts and figures before them, but also what has changed from earlier in the year when we made it a priority in our costed budget.”

A council spokesperson said: “It’s always really disappointing to see fly-tipping spoiling our beautiful city as the selfish actions of a few can really affect those living in a local community. There is no excuse for it. We have a simple booking system for residents to access our recycling centres and a special uplift service that costs only £5 per item to legally dispose of unwanted bulky household waste.

“Enforcement action will be taken whenever possible and there is sufficient evidence to identify who is responsible for fly-tipping and we step up patrols where we can in areas where it is reported.”

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