Southend Council denies distributing rubbish warning notice in Westcliff

Bogus warnings are being displayed in Westcliff, threatening fines to residents who put their rubbish out for collection early.

A letter, purportedly from Southend waste contractor Veolia, was posted in a shop window warning residents they faced £150 fines for putting out their rubbish ahead of their designated collection day.

A copy of the letter has been posted on the Westborough Community Group Facebook page and further claims Veolia is monitoring people’s waste closely amid the threat of fines.

But Southend City Council has dismissed the warning and says it is not aware of the notice.

Some have already questioned the authenticity of the letter as it is unsigned.

It reads: “Some residents are placing waste out on a daily basis which is causing problems with littering in the area and dumped bags left on the highway.

“We are writing to advise you that we will be monitoring the area for fly-tips and any resident or business identified improperly disposing of waste, will be reported and their details passed to the local authority.”

Southend Council says rules for placing rubbish out for collection have not changed.

A spokesman added: “Although we do not believe this is an official notice from Veolia, we ask that residents put their rubbish sacks and bins out on the edge of their property by 7am on their collection day.

“Waste and recycling left on the street too early may be scavenged, resulting in litter.

“Residents who repeatedly put bags out on the wrong day or at the wrong place can be issued with an £80 fixed penalty notice.”

The problem of rubbish strewn streets led to some calling it Westcliff a “shanty town” in recent months.

Resident Julian Lowes said: “The council have tried this before seven or eight years ago.

“We used to have council officers going round to check the rubbish for people’s ID. A 95-year-old chap who lived next to us got fined.

“I haven’t seen this notice though. What happens if you’ve got nowhere else to put your rubbish?

“Or you work and leave early in the morning? Or you work through the night and don’t get back in time?”

Christine Sexton

Local Democracy Reporter