Wales in just three years - and is set to rise even further, local
government leaders warn today.
rise in illegally dumped cars from 2000-01 to 2002-03. This is equivalent to
an average rise of 22 per cent for each council.
Urban communities are the worst hit - London boroughs had the highest
average number of abandoned vehicles reported with 6,589 per authority.
District councils got off the lightest with an average of 1,060 reported
vehicles each. In the same period, the cost to councils of dealing with
abandoned vehicles rose by a quarter - from£27.2m in 2000-01 to
£33.9m in 2002-03.
And the LGA predicts the problem will get worse due to increased treatment
and disposal costs brought about by the EU directive on End of Life
As most clapped-out vehicles abandoned on estates, car parks, roads and
verges are unlicensed, it is hugely difficult for councils to track down
perpetrators and take them to court under current laws. Up to now a special
piece of legislation that applies only to London has allowed boroughs in the
capital a way of tackling the problem. The LGA is currently working with the
government to ensure that all local authorities are able to stamp down on
Ken Manton, chair of the LGA's waste and environmental management
executive, said: 'The pest of abandoned vehicles in our local communities is
threatening to become a plague.
'Illegally dumped cars are much more than just an eyesore. They are breeding
grounds for arson and vandalism, while broken glass and leaking chemicals
are a hazard for children and pets. They also contribute to a run-down
appearance that can increase crime and the fear of crime.
'Local authorities are co-operating with the police and the Driver and
Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) to tackle the problem as swiftly and
efficiently as they can.
'In addition there is a danger that the EU directive on End of Life
Vehicles, which will lead to rising disposal costs for unwanted vehicles,
will further increase the challenge for local authorities. Councils could
find themselves battling to stay ahead of a wave of abandoned old bangers
littering our estates and neighbourhoods.
'Clearly this is a significant additional budget pressure that will have to
be accounted for in government funding allocation if its impact is not to be
passed on to council taxpayers.
'The vast majority of abandoned cars are unlicensed - which makes it
virtually impossible for local authorities to track down and prosecute
people who dump their clapped-out cars.
'At the moment a special piece of legislation that applies only to London
has allowed boroughs in the capital a way of tackling the problem. The LGA
is working with the government to ensure that all local authorities are able
to stamp out this scourge.'
1. Research report 'Abandoned vehicles - a survey of local authorities' is
available on the association's website.
2. The LGA believes prosecution rates could be boosted by making it possible
to prosecute the last registered owner for abandonment or for failing to
properly transfer the vehicle to a new owner.
3. 'Abandoned vehicles - a survey of local authorities' was carried out by
the LGA research team. The first questionnaires were sent to local authority
chief executives in October 2003. By the end of the fieldwork 254 local
authorities had responded to the survey - a response rate of 62 per cent.