Rising problems of dumped cars

TAXPAYERS across Suffolk are footing the bill to help meet the growing costs of removing the rising number of dumped vehicles.Plummeting scrap metal value has seen a dramatic increase in the number of abandoned cars being dumped across Suffolk.

TAXPAYERS across Suffolk are footing the bill to help meet the growing costs of removing the rising number of dumped vehicles.

Plummeting scrap metal value has seen a dramatic increase in the number of abandoned cars being dumped across Suffolk.

District and borough councils in Suffolk are being forced to pay out over £200,000 a year to dispose of more than 2,500 unwanted vehicles.

In Ipswich the borough council is now removing 100 cars a month from the streets at a cost of up to £40,00 a year and other authorities say the cost of dealing with the problem is increasing budgetary pressures.


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The increase in dumped vehicles is linked to the drop in the scrap metal value. In previous years motorists could take their vehicles to scrap metal dealers and receive a small fee. Now in many cases, vehicle owners have to pay to have their cars scrapped, so many are dumping them instead.

Although facing huge costs many authorities hope new legislation will soon be introduced to allow them to claw back some of the money from the vehicles' last registered owner.

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Malcolm Firth, head of environmental services at Babergh District Council said: "We have seen a significant growth in the amount of dumped vehicles in recent years. We have had to remove around 300 cars last year, but had complaints of up to 800 all of which have to be investigated and costs money.

"I would say the cost of investigating reports of dumped vehicles, removing them and employing staff to deal with it costs Babergh around £25,000 a year. We hope new legislation will soon allow us to hold the last registered owner of the vehicle responsible, which will allow us to claim some of the money back, but at the moment the taxpayer is footing the bill."

Ipswich Borough Council said it removed 1,400 vehicles in the last financial year, which cost the authority up to £40,00.

A council spokesman said: "There has been a huge increase in dumped vehicles over the last five years. Obviously there is a cost to the council, which goes straight through to the taxpayer, but we have to tackle this problem."

A spokesman for Mid Suffolk District Council said it has had to tow away 120 cars since April, and predicts the authority will spend around £7,000 on the problem this year.

In the last financial year St Edmundsbury Borough Council spent £39,700 removing 921cars. This year it has already removed more than 400 cars and expects to spend £51,000 on dealing with dumped vehicles by the end of the current financial year.

Suffolk Coastal has had to remove 150 vehicle since January and predicts it will spend around £40,000 dealing with dumped cars by the end of the year.

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