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Medway Council brings in new ID system at tips raising fly-tipping fears

Only council tax payers will be able to use tips in part of Kent, raising worries there could be a spike in fly-tipping as a result.

As from June 3, dropping off rubbish and unwanted items at Sundridge Hill, Cuxton, Hoath Way, Gillingham, and Capstone in Shawstead Road, will have to provide proof they are under Medway Council.

Those living in fringe areas such as Bredhurst, Walderslade Woods and Lordswood will have to travel up to 10 miles to Maidstone or Sittingbourne to use facilities run by Kent County Council.

There are fears only giving access to council tax payers could result in a rise in dumping
There are fears only giving access to council tax payers could result in a rise in dumping

Some believe it will encourage fly-tipping which costs the council thousand every year.

Frankie Smith has lived in Walderslade under Medway for 15 years but has just moved to Walderslade Woods which is served by Maidstone Council.

She will now have to pay to use the service under new rules being introduced by KCC.

The 44-year-old audit clerk said: “It’s not so much about the money.

“At present I use Capstone or Gillingham, about five to 10 minutes away. I consider myself a Medway Council user of services and would not mind paying the council a season ticket to use the sites here.

“It’s about the inconvenience of having to drive to Tovil or Sittingbourne, the time it takes and the ongoing cost of petrol.

“We are always being advised to dispose of rubbish sensibly, but this will encourage fly tipping.

“I also believe things will start getting rid of rubbish on an underhand way by borrowing Medway Council ID and council tax bills.

Mrs Smith, mum to Josh, 12, has started a petition and written to her ward councillor David Brake.

The changes will coincide with Kent’s changes.

Rubbish dumped in Rochester
Rubbish dumped in Rochester

Residents will need to show one original form of identification, including either a council tax bill sent by Medway Council from the current financial year, or driving licence (photo card only). Residents who do not have either will instead be able to use a utility bill, TV licence, bank or building society statement, benefits award statement, letter from HMRC or the Home Office.

A postcode check will be carried out using Medway Council’s bin collection day webpage to check and confirm that it is a Medway council tax address.

Cartoonist Royston's take on the changes
Cartoonist Royston's take on the changes

These checks would most likely be carried out for properties close to the boundary of other local authorities.

To help ensure this process runs smoothly, each site will be closed to make the necessary changes to site entrances.

Capstone will be closed from Monday, (May 20) and anticipated to reopen from Thursday, May 30. Further closures will be announced in due course.

Portfolio Holder for Frontline Services, Cllr Phil Filmer, said: “We have made the changes to ensure our residents can continue to recycle items for free at Medway’s three household waste and recycling centres and that we maintain a high-quality service.

“It is important we continue to encourage residents to appropriately dispose of their waste to protect our environment.

“More Medway residents are using our sites and I’d like to thank them for their continued efforts to recycle and to help keep Medway clean and green.”

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