A row has erupted over a council crackdown on a fly-tipping hotspot which has been targeted 34 TIMES in the past year.
Hyndburn council will spend £8,250 on five gates at the Heys allotment site in Oswaldtwistle, following a surge in dumping incidents.
Labour councillors said the fly-tipping was costing the authority ‘thousands of pounds a year’ to clean up and was becoming a ‘regular problem’.
However, the town’s area forum has criticised the council for ‘plundering’ their accounts to fund the project.
Coun Ken Moss, Hyndburn council’s portfolio holder for allotments, said there had been 34 instances of fly-tipping in the last year, each costing a minimum of £100 to clear up.
He said: “The allotments service is stretched already and we don’t have the resources to keep dealing with fly-tipping on this scale.
“Gates are the only answer for a sustainable allotments service and the leader of the council agrees with me on this.”
However, Conservative councillor Peter Britcliffe, who is chairman of the Oswaldtwistle area forum, said: “It will save Hyndburn council £4,000 a year so perhaps it would have been more appropriate to use the general pot. We are rather annoyed.
“When they asked councillors in Oswaldtwistle they said ‘no’, with a majority of 5-2.
“It wasn’t something I personally objected to. As chair I said I would put this to the next area forum, invite the allotment holders and make a decision there. Instead the council have decided to go over heads, which is not very democratic, and plunder the money from our accounts which we use very sensibly to benefit the town.
“When we started there was about £40,000 left in the pot so we said we would look to spend £8,000 a year over five years supporting organisations in the town.
“It’s very disappointing that they’ve suddenly decided to alter the rules.”
Labour St Oswald’s councillor Glen Harrison said: “There is over £30,000 left in the Oswaldtwistle pot, but Councillor Britcliffe and the Conservatives are opposing the move.
“I can’t understand why. This is affecting not only our residents but the future of Heys allotments.”
Labour St Andrews councillor Stewart Eaves said horse riders and tenants will still have access to the site, but the gates will ‘stop the dumping’.