Action needed to clear "river of rubbish."

(7253380)Coun Townsley (right) and Coun Hughes looking at the rubbish

(7253401)

First published in Local news

Councillors are calling for speedy action to clear a "river of rubbish" on the banks of the Aire at Horsforth.

Ward councillor Chris Townsley and town council chairman Martin Hughes say they have had several fruitless attempts to discover who is responsible for cleaning up the banks of the River Aire. Now they are calling for less time wasting and more action to clean up the mess near the Newlay Lane Bridge in Horsforth.

Coun Townsley said he was advised to contact Leeds City Council after initially raising the issue with the Canal and River Trust and the Environment Agency.

But he said the council denied responsibility and told him officers had looked and could find no rubbish.

He said: "It is ridiculous that even as a city councillor, both I and council staff have great trouble pinning down the right people for this relatively small job; small wonder members of the public get sick and tired of the run-around they receive."

Horsforth Town Council chairman, Martin Hughes added: "I have grave concerns when a small clean-up job that should take a matter of hours to perform has still not been resolved weeks after the first report."

This week a spokeswoman for Leeds City Council said: "As soon as we were made aware of the issue, officers went to the location as described. Unfortunately, they were unable to see the rubbish as reported and fed this back. Once we establish where the build-up of rubbish is, we’ll identify and contact the landowner as its their responsibility to clean it up. If they don’t, we’ll take the appropriate enforcement action."

A spokesman for The Canal and River Trust said they were responsible for the Leeds Liverpool canal in the area but not the River Aire.

He said:" We absolutely share the Councillors’ concerns and hope this can get sorted as quickly as possible as rubbish is not only unpleasant to look at but can cause real problems for wildlife. "

He added: "We’re a charity that cares for 2,000 miles of waterway across the country and sadly we just don’t have the resources to help care for those that other bodies are responsible for."

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