New warning signs about hidden cameras being installed in Horsforth to catch flytippers have been branded “utterly ridiculous” by a local councillor.
Councillor Brian Cleasby (Lib Dem, Horsforth) actually lobbied for the covert cameras to be installed at known trouble-spots as a way of tackling persistent littering and dog fouling.
But he fears the accompanying signs that are about to go up, while legally required, will end up angering residents – and he questioned their cost and size.
He said: “The signs are utterly ridiculous! They are far too big and don’t get the point across.
“I understand that people have the right to be informed that they are being filmed, but these signs are going to end up annoying more than they inform.
“I campaigned long and hard for these cameras so that we can start cracking down on litter louts and careless dog owners, but these signs that have been ordered to be put up are an act of political vandalism.
“Ultimately, they are an unnecessary cost given their inadequacy.” Legally, the signs have to be in place before the cameras can become operational.
Leeds City Council’s executive member for the environment Councillor Mark Dobson (Lab, Garforth & Swillington), however, dismissed those criticisms as groundless.
He said: “It seems we’re approaching ‘silly season’ at the moment.
“The signs Coun Cleasby is referring to cost £15 each – and there are only three of them in Horsforth.
“This is hardly extortionate! In fact they are a legal requirement and do need to be of a significantly large size so it is clear to people in the area that they may be filmed or photographed.
“The cameras, and therefore the signs, are only used on sites which are serious and persistent flytipping sites.
“The signs are used whilst there is a flytipping problem that is being monitored and then moved to new sites.
“Preventing flytipping ultimately saves us much more money that these signs cost. It’s a shame Coun Cleasby doesn’t think prevention of flytipping is worth £45, but as a department we won’t be deterred from taking action such as this which represents what the people of Leeds want.”