Vodafone in Havant flytipping row

Ken Smith with his dog Baxter at the site of flytipping in Havant town centre
Ken Smith with his dog Baxter at the site of flytipping in Havant town centre
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  • Rubbish dumped close to public walkway is ‘health hazard’
  • Mobile phone giant refusing to move it even though it is on their land
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MOBILE phone giant Vodafone is refusing to clear up piles of rubbish dumped on its land.

Councillor Ken Smith, from Havant Borough Council, has been requesting the removal of the rubbish, which is next to a public walkway, in Havant town centre for months.

It really is disgusting. It’s right next to a walkway connecting the bus station and railway station to the town centre. It looks awful and I’ve also had reports that rats have been seen there.

Ken Smith

But, because the plastic bags full of waste, fast food wrappers, and drinks cans were not dumped by the company it has refused to move it.

Cllr Smith, who represents nearby Bedhampton, said: ‘I, and many others, have to walk past this every day.

‘It really is disgusting. It’s right next to a walkway connecting the bus station and railway station to the town centre.

‘It looks awful and I’ve also had reports that rats have been seen there.

‘That means it’s a health hazard.

‘I spoke to the manager of the store, who is a very nice lady, but she is reluctant to ask her staff to clear it up because they don’t know what’s in it.

‘There could be needles or other noxious substances in there.’

Cllr Smith has taken the matter up with the council’s environmental health team but, because the place the rubbish is dumped is private land, there is nothing they can do about it.

He added: ‘Vodafone is unwilling to pay the £90 cost of clearing it up.

‘But I explained to them that if the council is forced to move it, it will claim the costs back and it could be a lot more than that.’

It is the second major fly-tip to blight the town centre in as many months.

A dispute arose over more than a ton of rubbish dumped on land belonging to a Sue Ryder charity shop in North Street.

The rubbish came from inside the White Hart Pub next door when it closed several months ago.

At one point there was even a car dumped on the site.

Despite repeated efforts to get the pub landlord to move it the council stepped in.

A spokeswoman for Vodafone said it was looking into the problem behind the store.

She added that the complaint by Cllr Smith has now been passed to the company’s property team to deal with.