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Bilton residents take fly-tipping problem into their own hands

Retired councillors, Bob O'Neill, Val Rodgers and Andrew Goss with the Bendelows and the Smiths at St John's Bridleway.
Retired councillors, Bob O'Neill, Val Rodgers and Andrew Goss with the Bendelows and the Smiths at St John's Bridleway.

Bilton residents have taken a hands-on approach to sort out a fly-tipping hotspot, where rubbish is regularly dumped at the back of their homes.

Outgoing Independent Councillors Andrew Goss, Val Rodgers and Bob O’Neill, were approached by Skipton Road residents at one of their regular surgeries, prior to stepping down in the latest elections.

Two couples, the Bendelows and the Smiths, were concerned about the amount of waste dumped where their properties back onto St John’s bridleway.

Val Rodgers said: “One area in particular was especially bad and growing, with a sink unit, plaster board, glass .

“One of the problems with fly-tipping is whether it is the responsibility of Harrogate Borough Council or North Yorkshire County Council to remove it, or neither, depending on where it is dumped.”

Taking matters into their own hands, Val, Bob and Andrew decided to share the cost of a skip, and asked the two couples if they would contribute.

After negotiating a price, the two couples and three retiring councillors spent a morning together clearing the area.

Andrew said: “These couples obviously care about the area in which they live and want to maintain it to a high standard.”

In a bid to help prevent future fly-tipping, chairman of the Bilton Conservation Group, Keith Wilkinson, also donated some wild flower seeds to plant on the area.

Val said: “Myself Andrew and Bob were delighted to retire from HBC on a high, working until the end.”

Bob said that anyone seen fly-tipping should be reported to HBC and the police.