fly-tipper is the first person in Liverpool to be electronically
tagged for dumping waste on the city streets. In February
2010, Allen Gardener, of Prescot, was spotted dumping around three
tonnes of builder’s rubble into the front garden of a derelict house
in Norris Green – an area already blighted by fly-tipping. Two fire
officers witnessed the incident and when they approached Gardener he
sped off, but they managed to get the registration number of his
Ford Tipper Transit Van.
In March, the same vehicle was seen tipping more builder’s rubble
and garden waste in the middle of a road in Garston. The rubbish
blocked the entrance to Rotters Community Compound, and when worker
Anthony Patton tried to stop what was happening, Gardener drove off
Just 1 week later, the city council received complaints relating to
three tonnes of wooden window frames dumped in an alleyway in West
Derby. The investigating team contacted the company responsible for
the windows who claimed they had made arrangements with someone
called ‘Alan’ who they hired to dispose of the frames responsibly.
Finally in June, a member of Enterprise Liverpool’s Neighbourhood
Enforcement Action Team (NEAT) witnessed the transit van dumping
more garden waste in Croxteth, and again Gardener fled when
The mounting evidence meant that the 42 year old was arrested, and
during a search of his house, flyers advertising waste removal were
Gardener pleaded guilty at Liverpool Magistrates Court to four
counts of fly-tipping. He has been electronically tagged for 56
days, with a daily curfew between 8.30pm and 6am. A six month
community order has also been enforced and he has been ordered to
pay the city council £300 towards costs and £300 compensation.
Liverpool city council’s cabinet member for the environment,
Councillor Tim Moore, said:- “This conviction sends out a
strong message – we will not tolerate anyone who makes other
people’s lives a misery by fly-tipping. We will catch you, and you
will be punished. Fly-tipping is a blight on our city and makes it dirty and
unwelcoming. We are determined to do everything we can to crackdown
on the mindless minority who use Liverpool as a dumping ground.
I’d like to congratulate everyone involved – it was a real team
effort and with the help of all the other organisations involved and
members of the public, we’ve made sure justice is served.”
Following his arrest, Gardener admitted to being in debt and has
since sold his tipper van.
Organisations involved in the case included Liverpool City Council,
Enterprise Liverpool Ltd, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service,
BABY FLAMINGO THINKS
IT IS A ZOO KEEPER!!!
THE youngest member of Blackpool
Zoo’s flamingo flock thinks it is a zoo keeper! Shortly after
hatching on 18 July 2010, the fluffy flamingo ‘imprinted’ on
the first living creature it saw - namely James Mulvany , Blackpool
Zoo’s Senior Bird and Reptile Keeper.
When 3 flamingo eggs were laid earlier in the year keepers took the
decision to incubate and hand rear the chicks after previous
breeding attempts ended in eggs being stolen by seagulls that are
prevalent in the seaside resort. Had all 3 eggs been
fertilised and hatched, the young would have imprinted on each
other, meaning they would have a clearer understanding that they
were flamingos. Tests revealed that just 1 egg had fertilised
and keepers took the decision to continue with the plan to hand
In the early days the chick was syringe fed water, hard-boiled egg
yolks and chopped fish, which was fortified with vitamins. It has
now progressed to eating special flamingo pellets, which provide all
the nutrition the chick needs to flourish.
Although the chick is showing a lot of natural behaviours already,
James and his team are now busy teaching the chick that it, in fact,
a flamingo and he or she is a very fast learner!
This includes James leading the chick in daily wades in the pond and
stints in the flamingo house so he or she can familiarise themselves
with the sights and sounds of the flock.
Jude Rothwell, PR and Marketing Coordinator at Blackpool Zoo, said:-
“The chick is learning very quickly that he or she is indeed a
bird and is spending more and more time with the rest of the flock.
This is the first time we have hand-reared a flamingo chick at the
zoo but, as expected, the keepers have done a fantastic job of it.
In coming weeks he or she will be fully integrated with the rest of
the group and on show for visitors to see.”
The chick is just 1 of 9 recent additions to the flurry of flamingos
at Blackpool. 8 fully grown flamingos came to the zoo from a
collection in Kent and have settled into their new home very
Cuts will have devastating impact on council housing
CUTS announced in the
Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) will have a devastating impact
on council tenants. Combined with cuts to Housing Benefit and
the attack on secure tenancies, they break the Prime Minister’s pre
election promise. They are not ‘fair’; this is an assault on
tenants’ rights that will drive up rent arrears, evictions, poverty
The CSR announcement spread confusion by referring to ‘social
housing’ without detail of which changes would apply to council
housing or housing associations (Registered Social Landlords - RSLs).
CLG officials have confirmed to DCH that both Council and RSL
landlords will be given freedom to create some new time-limited
tenancies instead of the current council 'secure' (and RSL
'assured') tenancy. But only RSLs will be allowed to designate
some of their homes for ‘intermediate’ rents up to 80% of market
rents, with time limited tenancies. This will finance borrowing to
build more homes at same higher rents.
Cuts in other spending mean these are the only new homes for rent
planned – and they will be too expensive for most people on the
waiting list, unless they can claim Housing Benefit. Tenants would
be stuck in a poverty trap and liable to debt and insecurity.
Capital investment in council housing will be halved or worse. Cuts
mean no improvements by 2015 to over half the council homes not at a
decent standard. The Treasury is to take all housing capital
receipts, and increase the cost of borrowing for Councils.
Reform of the Housing Revenue Account is to go ahead, but no figures
have been released. CLG say they will issue more details by
Christmas. The big question is whether they propose councils take on
higher levels of debt; and whether proposals will be financially
Britain’s Broken Roads are Bad for Business
maintained local roads are costing the economy £4.1bn a year in
wasted staff time, production delays and damage repairs, according
to a new report carried out by YouGov for the Asphalt Industry
Alliance. The report reveals that 55% of small
and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in England and Wales are losing
on average £13,600 each per year.
The new report, The Economic Impact of Local Road Condition, reveals
that bad local roads are hitting 55% of SMEs on the bottom line, not
only in obvious ways such as accidents and vehicle damage, but also
through decreased productivity and increased business costs. 48% of
businesses report that poorly-maintained roads waste their staff’s
time - on average each affected business reported losing 216 hours a
year, the equivalent of 1 member of staff being absent for 5 weeks
of the year.
Local authority roads account for over 95% of the country‘s network.
Local authority highway departments, facing a shortfall in funding
of £800 million, are finding it increasingly difficult to meet the
costs of maintaining their roads in an acceptable condition. This
problem is made worse by the diversion of funds, allocated by
central Government to highways maintenance, to other Council
There are 4.3 million small and medium-sized enterprises in England
and Wales, employing 12.3 million people. SMEs are regarded as the
“engine of the economy” and have a combined annual turnover of
£1,350 billion³. The report reveals that poor road condition
directly affects these businesses, and indirectly influences the
success – or otherwise – of the local economy, in the following
EMPLOYMENT:- 15% of businesses in England and Wales that have
been in their current location for more than 5 years have considered
moving or have moved their premises to an area with
better-maintained roads. In the North, the Midlands and Wales this
figure rises to 20% of SMEs
COSTS:- 52% of SMEs reported that poorly-maintained roads have
increased their business costs. Costs incurred included increased
journey times; damage to vehicles; increased fuel costs; and costs
of accidents as a result of poorly-maintained roads.
PRODUCTIVITY:- 48% of SMEs stated that poorly-maintained roads
make their businesses less productive. Productivity issues included
wasted staff time; delays in delivering products and services;
delays in deliveries from suppliers; and delays in shipping goods
within the company.
COMPETITIVENESS:- 34% of SMEs felt that the state of their local
roads made them less competitive than their rivals. Competitiveness
was affected through having to increase the price of products and
services and through having to increase waiting time for delivery of
products and services.
60% of SMEs have been negatively affected by the credit crunch. Of
these 25% said that improving the condition of local roads would
help them to recover from the recession. Investing in road
maintenance has positive effects for a local area. Members of the
public, who were also polled by YouGov for the report, said that the
condition of local roads affected their decisions on where to shop
(33%); where to go for days out (39%); and where to buy a house
The Asphalt Industry Alliance, an industry group which campaigns to
raise awareness of the need for sustained investment in road
maintenance, is calling for:-
► A new approach to funding roads maintenance, including sustained,
longer-term budgets which would allow for more cost-effective
planning of maintenance;
► Better protection of road maintenance budgets at local level; and
► Easier access to emergency funding to deal with damage caused by
extreme weather conditions.
Colin Loveday, Chairman of the Asphalt Industry Alliance, said:-
“This report demonstrates that there is a sound economic argument
for properly funding local road maintenance as a key measure to help
the economy emerge from recession. Improving the condition of local
roads would take the brakes off our SMEs and help them to drive the
recovery forward. The condition of local roads is a key influence on
residents’ attitudes to their local council. 1 in 5 say that road
condition affects how they cast their vote at election time. Those
local authorities that choose to prioritise road maintenance are
choosing to protect their local economies, support local employers
and improve the quality of life for residents.”
Commenting on the report’s findings, Stephen Alambritis, Head of
Public Affairs at the Federation of Small Businesses, said:-
“What is bad for business will be bad for consumers. Small
businesses suffering an increase in costs as a result of increased
journey times and increased fuel costs will have no option but to
try and pass those costs onto the consumer. Business location
decisions will also be influenced by better roads; jobs move with
businesses and this cannot be the correct way forward.”
FSB'S FACT FILE:-
► 17% of businesses take to the air to avoid the disadvantages of
badly maintained roads
► 61% of the public do not cycle on local roads at all, and only 16%
cycle on local roads more than once a month
► Nearly 20% of the public in England and Wales would either take up
cycling or cycle more if roads were better maintained.
► Over half of the public in England and Wales thought their local
roads were not fit and safe for cycling.