Basildon Council leader Gavin Callaghan confirmed the cost to clear up the mess at Queen, Elizabeth Park, Billericay - following the illegal site on August 26- was £1,052.When you add up the cost of police and council staff time, that's probably a very - ahem - 'conservative' estimate...
Kerry Smith, deputy leader of Basildon Council, understands residents’ concerns when it comes to using taxpayers’ money to clear up the mess.
The councillor for Nethermayne Ward, said: “It’s taxpayers’ money.
“No one wants to pay for people who don’t want to keep the area tidy.
“Flytipping costs the council £70,000 a year.
“Those responsible need the book thrown at them.”They do indeed. And we all know why they don't get it.
Councillor David Harrison, chairman of the neighbourhoods and public spaces committee, added; “We would urge them to clear up after themselves.
“When travellers come onto public land, the council have to clear up after them.
“There’s no getting away from that.
“People would complain if we didn’t get rid of it.”No-one's suggesting you don't, are they? They are merely suggesting that some way of recouping the costs of doing so from the culprits needs to be found.
Mark Francois, MP for Rayleigh and Wickford, is hopeful incidents like this could be prevented by what is called the Irish Option.
This involves criminalising trespass - currently a civil offence - which would mean extra powers for authorities and police to move illegal sites on.
The MP, in a letter to Lib Dem councillor for Rayleigh James Newport, claimed this could become part of the Queen’s Speech - which details a list of bills proposed for the next Government.Here's one for you, then, Boris. Will you step up?