Kirkcaldy veteran urges local authority to tackle fly tipping

James Irvine has been complaining about the refuse, which he claims was dumped by his former neighbours in a communal garden in Kirkcaldy, for a long time.
James Irvine has been complaining about the refuse, which he claims was dumped by his former neighbours in a communal garden in Kirkcaldy, for a long time.

A Royal Navy veteran is calling on Fife Council to take action on fly tipping in the back garden of his flat block in Kirkcaldy after claiming the rubbish poses a health hazard.

James Irvine, who is registered blind, has been complaining about the refuse, which he claims was dumped by his former neighbours, for some time.

But he believes the problem is being ignored by the local authority because it has been dumped at a private property, so it is the responsibity of the landlord to clean it up.

However, a spokesman for Fife Council said it had been in touch with the landlord about the mess and will take further action if the rubbish is not cleared.

Mr Irvine claims the black bin bags and plastic bags, which are both full of refuse, and a sofa were left in the communal garden area by neighbours who have now vacated the flat in Pratt Street.

He contacted Fife Council about the rubbish, but claims he was told it was the responsibility of the occupiers to use the bins provided.

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Mr Irvine, who has lived in the flat for six years, said the local authority advised him to contact the landlord to have the waste removed, but he has no idea who the landlord is.

The 60-year-old said: “Two and a half months ago my daughter came to visit me and I noticed my neighbour’s door was open and it stayed like that into the next day so I called the police.

“The place was a tip and it looked like they had done a runner.

“A number of different families have been living there and they have just been dumping their rubbish in the shared garden at the back.

“The mess has been there for years and I think Fife Council should be doing something to clean it up.

“The council should have the mess uplifted and then send the bill to the landlord responsible for that property.

“I have phoned the council but they have basically told me this is my problem and not theirs because it is a private let.

“They said they couldn’t get hold of the landlord.

“But that mess out there is a health hazard which I think now makes it an issue the local authority has to deal with.”

He continued: “I have never missed my council tax or been in debt with my rent and yet I can’t go out into my back garden because of all the rubbish which wasn’t dumped by me.

“It was a really nice garden area when I first moved in here a few years ago but not anymore because of the mess that has been left by various tenants.”

He added: “It is an environmental health hazard now and is only a matter of time before it attracts rats.”

Dawn Jamieson, Fife Council’s Safer Communities team manager, said it had been in touch with the landlord about the mess and intended to take action.

She said: “We’ve contacted the landlord and sent him a letter asking for this area to be cleaned up.”

She added: “The next step is to serve notice on the landlord and if it’s not cleared we’ll arrange clean up and recharge the landlord.”