Network Rail, Neglect and the Peterborough Station Quarter

brown rat08:08 Monday 9th May 2011
Peterborough Breakfast Show
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

PAUL STAINTON: A local Neighbourhood Watch group is blaming a rise in fly-tipping at the door of Peterborough City Council. The Park Farm Neighbourhood Watch Group says their area of Stanground has been blighted by fly-tippers. Their member Chris Harper, who’s also a local councillor, was on the show earlier. He said residents need to take more pride in their local area. And another area blighted by fly-tippers at the moment is the old Dairy Crest site on Midland Road, just near the hospital there, the old hospital. John Knowles, who lives in Holdich Street, also thinks the new charge for bulky waste is to blame for the rise in fly-tipping. Morning John.
PAUL STAINTON: Why do you think the rise is to blame?
JOHN KNOWLES: The increase in charges for waste collection, people just can’t afford to pay. So they’re doing the easy thing, and just dumping the stuff out in the street really.
PAUL STAINTON: Have you got any proof of that though John?
JOHN KNOWLES: I haven’t got proof, but I’ve seen it happen.
PAUL STAINTON: What sort of things have been dumped where you live?
JOHN KNOWLES: Settees, three piece suites, fridge freezers, just about everything you can think of. Microwaves.
PAUL STAINTON: Why are they picking on your area, do you think?
JOHN KNOWLES: Well they’re not picking on my area. I’m an active member of the Labour Party, and I do things all over the city really. I monitor this stuff, and it’s happening in most areas of Peterborough.
PAUL STAINTON: Yes. Do you think people are just looking at that old Dairy Crest site, and thinking, oh, I’ll stick it in there. That’ll be alright. Yes. Because it’s a bit of an eye-sore anyway, isn’t it? It’s sort of falling down, isn’t it?
JOHN KNOWLES: Well what happened is that we had travellers there. They dumped a lot of stuff off the British Rail car park, over the fence onto the Dairy Crest site. That was cleared eventually, and access was still available, and a number of local people dumped stuff onto the Dairy Crest site. But fly-tipping is going on continually in the area anyway.
PAUL STAINTON: Yes. It is private land though John, isn’t it, so that sort of complicates matters. We got a statement from Accent Nene here, which owns the land where the furniture is being dumped in Belsay Drive (Park Farm-Stanground) that says “we undertake regular scheme inspections, and if any fly-tipping is noticed during these inspections, or at any other times in between, or if reported to us, it is swiftly removed by our contractors.” What do you make of that John? Is it being swiftly removed?
JOHN KNOWLES: Well it certainly wasn’t swiftly removed on British Rail land, and the problem we have with the Dairy Crest site is that although problems have been reported there, there are massive problems on the Dairy Crest site, not just fly-tipping. They’ve been reported to the Council, and when I’ve contacted the Council on it they don’t even know who owns the Dairy Crest site. They don’t know who to contact, which is pretty grossly inefficient. If this site was on the doorstep of Marco Cereste (Leader – Peterborough City Council), it wouldn’t be in the state it’s in. It’s right next to the railway station. People coming in to Peterborough can see the absolute mess there, the graffiti. For an Environment City it’s disgusting, as is the fact that stuff is out on the street. As far as private land is concerned, I report it in regularly, and the Council then put it into their Pollution Control Department. They have to find out who owns the property, and then work to get it done. In the meantime, we’ve got rat infestations all over the city.
PAUL STAINTON: John, thank you for bringing that to our attention. Appreciate that. John Knowles, senior member of the Executive Committee of the Labour Party. He lives in Holdich Street, talking about the fly-tipping on the old Dairy Crest site, just round the back of the hospital there.