South Tyneside bosses call for wheelie bin crack down following spate of incidents including ‘spontaneous bonfires’
Town hall chiefs have promised a "concerted effort" to tackle concerns raised over a spate of wheelie bin fires in parts of South Tyneside.
The pledge was made after bosses from Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service chiefs gave their own warning of a rise in deliberate secondary fires in the borough and beyond.
According to the brigade, between June and August 39 incidents were recorded, which include blazes involving grassland, loose refuse and wheelie bins, compared to 27 during the same period last year.
Councillor Anne Hetherington, who represents West Park on South Tyneside Council, said her area had seen issues with wheelie bin fires in particular, and called for everyone to play their part to reduce incidents.
She said: "We do have people leaving their bins out in back lanes now, and I know it happens in all of the wards.
“We had people actually taking them from the back lanes into West Park itself and having spontaneous bonfires around which did damage the pathways quite a bit.
“If some concerted effort could be made to try to do something about that because I do know that we do ask our residents to take their wheelie bins in, but that doesn’t always happen."
Speaking at last week’s (Tuesday, September 20) meeting of the Riverside Community Area Forum, she called for a campaign to raise awareness of the issue.
Representatives from South Tyneside Homes, the arms length organisation which manages council housing, said they have several plans in place to attempt to tackle the issue.
Mark Prinn, area manager, said: "A lot of bins are taken away and set fire on wasteland and it causes our partners in the fire service a great deal of problems.
"We’re looking at bin storage and adequate bin storage to make it easier for residents to get bins in and out of their properties.
"We’ve got a campaign around bin dates and collections and making sure that our officers are out there as well knocking on doors ensuring residents take their bins in.”
Fire service chiefs added they have prevention and education staff who work with partners to help prevent deliberate fires, along with proactively working to identify fly-tipping and rubbish concerns, and encouraging residents to report issues.