FLY-tippers have been blasted for dumping rubbish at a scenic spot in South Tyneside.
A local councillor said he was disgusted after being told various items had been strewn along Hebburn Riverside Park.
The area has been plagued by fly-tippers in recent years, and cash-strapped South Tyneside Council is forced to pick up the bill for cleaning up the mess.
A Gazette reader took photographs of rubbish to be seen at the riverside green area this week.
The trash dumped included what looked like the contents of a bedroom, including children’s books, DVDs, stationery and other items.
Nearby, two dining room chairs were left in the grass at the far end of the park.
Coun Richard Porthouse, for the Hebburn North ward, notified council officers as soon as he was told about the latest fly-tipping incident.
He said: “Fly-tipping and graffiti are concerns throughout the borough, and the three ward councillors are constantly inspecting places of concern and report any illegal acts immediately to the relevant officers for the issues to be dealt with.
“I would appeal to the public in these austere times not to fly-tip, or leave any graffiti, as it is taking longer to be dealt with as our financial resources are being stretched to the limit.”
Coun Porthouse believes the isolated nature of Hebburn Riverside Park proves a magnet for fly-tippers.
“We’ve had this problem time and time again, and it’s linked with people scrawling graffiti around the riverside area,” he said.
“It is taking longer to clean up this mess because council finances are so tight at the moment.”
Ex-Hebburn North councillor Joe Abbott last week raised the issue of the unkempt state of Hebburn Riverside Park because of the council’s wildflower meadow scheme, and he said: “I think the fact that fewer people are using the riverside area, since the grass became long, is making it more isolated, and this attracts fly-tippers.”
Coun Tracey Dixon, the council’s lead member for area management, said: “It is disgraceful that some people think they can use the borough as a dumping ground for their rubbish. Not only does it spoil the area, but it can be hazardous to the public and wildlife.
“Fly-tipping is a criminal offence. We take this issue very seriously and will always take action against anyone we can identify as being responsible for abandoning waste.”