DAVID TUTT, LEADER OF EASTBOURNE COUNCIL: Covid, and scrapping of DIY tipping charges

Since the lockdowns have ceased it has been good to get out again and meet people in person, instead of only seeing them on a computer screen.


With Covid still spreading I have spent many months leading a charmed existence, avoiding the virus, but last week the inevitable happened and like thousands before me I tested positive.

Other than the relentless cough and headache, I have found that the most debilitating aspect that I have experienced is the constant tiredness and lack of energy.

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I am extremely grateful that I have received the three injections to protect me against Covid.

This could have been so much worse without them.

I will now be isolating until I am fit again but the experience has made it clear to me that we are still far from the end of this pandemic.

Clearly, the NHS remains under extreme pressure with several hospitals having to prioritise patients with acute illness or injuries, due to staff sickness.

Hopefully the warmer weather will once again see a reduction in the rate of transmission, but it is important that we all continue to do what we can to limit the spread of this dreadful virus.

I know that I do not often praise the Government, but I was pleased to read this week that Ministers plan to bring in legislation which will ban councils from charging residents for disposing of materials resulting from DIY work in their homes.

Under the plans businesses will continue to pay, but the charges will be scrapped for individuals.

The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, believes that the introduction of charges by some councils led to a large increase in fly tipping.

I agree that this has been the case and argued that it would happen when East Sussex County Council decided to introduce charging.

They currently charge: £4 to dispose of a bag of hardcore or soil; £4 for a sheet of plasterboard; £6 for a bag of bonded asbestos and £2 for a tyre.

Whilst the council will take legal action against those who fly tip, catching the culprits can be difficult and the cost of clearing dumped materials is very expensive.

So, in my opinion the sooner that the Government act to abolish the charges, the better.

My very best wishes for a Happy Easter!