Get involved: Send your news, views, pictures and video by texting SUPIC to 80360 or email us.
Rise in traveller site clean-up costs across Brighton and Hove
Traveller camp clear-up costs will soar by 11% over the next three years, according to town hall bosses.
Brighton and Hove City Council has signed a three-year deal worth more than half a million pounds with a private firm to collect waste from unauthorised camps across the city.
Since 2009 clean-up costs were £467,000 but council bosses estimate waste collection by Tim Jordan Grounds Maintenance will cost up to £518,000 over the next three years.
But Cityclean, the council’s refuse and recycling service, has added the authorised Horsdean traveller transit site to its rounds – a move the council said would save taxpayers around £24,000 a year.
The news comes as government figures suggested the number of unauthorised encampments in the city during the summer fell to a five-year low.
According to the numbers there were only 20 caravans on forbidden sites in July this year.
A council spokesman said: “Management of unauthorised encampments is carried out in line with the council’s traveller strategy, following government guidance.
“Services provided under this contract will be broadly the same as for the past four years.
“This contract is for the removal, recycling and disposal of materials from unauthorised travellers’ sites in Brighton and Hove together with associated services.
“These include ad hoc provision of portable toilets, equipment and miscellaneous labour as required.
“In providing these services the council is following national government guidelines which aim to ensure such sites are kept as tidy as possible.
“When the contract was put out to tender, the council’s initial estimate was that it would cost between £350,000 and £500,000.
The deal has the option of an extension of up to one-year subject to performance.
Councillor Geoffrey Theobald, Conservative group leader, said: “I don’t think our council taxpayers will be very happy about paying more for clean-up costs in these difficult times.
“And the government figures would appear to be wildly wrong.
“Everyone in the outlying wards in the city knows there has been an increase in traveller camps in the past two years.”
See the latest news headlines from The Argus:
- Travel Watch Live
- Man seriously injured in Shoreham machete attack
- Sussex pub criticised over sign appearing to mock Glagow helicopter tragedy
- University of Sussex students have suspension lifted after campaign
- West Preston man first to be named under new drug-driving campaign