Anger as warnings about Northern Spire tyre fire were ignored
By Martin Haswell
A Pallion councillor who asked the City Council to remove a large amount of discarded tyres next to the Northern Spire bridge was told that they wouldn't be cleaned up as they didn't pose a risk - only for them to be set alight yesterday evening (18th December).
Liberal Democrat councillor for Pallion Martin Haswell reported the dumped tyres to the City Council weeks ago, asking for them to be cleaned up.
In response, council staff told Councillor Haswell that they wouldn't be taking any action as the tyres didn't constitute a 'public nuisance'.
The tyres were set on fire yesterday evening, with flames and smoke being seen across the city.
Similar warnings from Millfield's Lib Dem councillor Niall Hodson about the need to tackle waste on the former Alex Smiles site in Deptford were also ignored - before it too was set ablaze, costing taxpayers £176,000 to clean up.
Pallion and Ford Estate Lib Dem councillor Martin Haswell commented:
"Those responsible for setting these tyres alight are, of course, the ones to blame for causing chaos for local residents living nearby, and for making local firefighters come and deal with the blaze.
"However, it is frustrating that I was told that Sunderland Council didn't see the dumped tyres as a public nuisance and wouldn't do anything to prevent this from happening.
"This is exactly what happened when local Lib Dems asked for action on the former Alex Smiles site. Sunderland Council ignore warnings and try to wash their hands of the problem - only for dumped waste to be set on fire before local taxpayers have to foot the bill for the clean up.
"In future we'd like to see warnings heeded and the Council take a more pro-active approach to stopping industrial waste being dumped and then torched - especially in the Pallion and Deptford areas where this is becoming a recurring problem."