Councillor uses her allowances to clear huge amounts of fly-tipped rubbish

  |  Published: Aug 12th 2016

Huge amounts of fly-tipped rubbish have been cleared from a private site in High Wycombe by a county councillor using her allowances.

Much of the mess has now been replaced by shrubs after the clearance of 118 bags and two skips of waste on the land below advertising hoardings on the A40 opposite Wycombe Marsh Retail Park.

The work was funded by £960 from Cllr Julia Wassell’s County Council Community Leaders Fund and expenses.

“The site had been contaminated for over three decades by fly-tipping and littering,” said Cllr Wassell. “In places, the rubbish and fly-tipping was knee deep. This was largely metal and plastic but included; car tyres, paint pots, barbed wire, drink cans and bottles, plastic sheeting, prams, metal pipes and spikes, car parts, nuts and bolts, cigarette lighters.”

The project was first initiated in May 2015 when Cllr Wassell, the County Council’s local constituency member, approached JCDecaux,  who operate the advertising hoardings above the land, with a sketch plan with a view to a peppercorn lease to renovate the area.

A two-year lease was signed last December at £500 pa, and, shortly afterwards, six large shrubs were planted professionally at a cost of £460. These are; mahonia, forsythia, magnolia, holly, a fir and red robin.

On January 1 this year, the clearance project started and this was completed last month – although Cllr Wassell admits the site is still not cleared and volunteers currently work there 30 minutes per day. She has been helped by Echo Leonard, a student from Wycombe and Amersham College, and £500 was also given by the Marsh & Micklefield Big Local.  The original idea for the scheme came from the Neighbourhood Action Group.

Phase 2 of the project will begin in October when bulbs and winter flowers will be planted. Passers-by have donated £25 towards baskets, and there will be further rubbish removal east to west. Sponsorship is currently being sought to investigate soil contamination.

Cllr Warren Whyte, Cabinet Member for Planning and Environment at the County Council, said: “The County Council is fighting a constant battle to keep Buckinghamshire clear of fly-tipping and give residents the environment they deserve. Cllr Wassell’s use of her County Council allowances to fund this clearance scheme is a good example of how we can help local communities in ways that are not usually thought of being within this Council’s remits.”

before clearance
Before the clearance
after clearance
After the clearance
Cllr Julia Wassell at the site
Cllr Julia Wassell at the site
Browse our Articles

Articles By Date
Search our Articles
Back to top