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Pensioner facing prosecution for leaving wheelchair at recycling centre

Created on 24/05/2017 @ 15:40
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A 71 year old woman has been warned she could be charged with fly tipping, by Powys County Council after leaving an old wheelchair against the fence at Potters Recycling in Welshpool. 

The woman, who does not wish to be named, was clearing a family house near Welshpool and left the wheelchair outside the household waste recycling centre, which was closed.

“I have been asked to attend an interview in Welshpool by the council’s environmental officers,” said the woman, who thought she was behaving responsibly.

“I had borrowed the wheelchair from a charity six years ago while my mother was still alive but it was too heavy for me to use and I therefore bought a lightweight one from the same charity.

“I tried several times to return the old one both at the time and since, but no one wanted it, even though it does work. I asked several agencies and was advised that I would either have to take it to Wrexham or find some other way to dispose of it. 

“I suggested Potters and was told that was probably the best answer. Sadly when I got to the yard I found it shut, even though it was a Tuesday morning.  I was aware that the yard had restricted hours because of the council’s spending cuts but I had no idea they were so restricted. 

“I was about to drive away because I had to be home that afternoon and not be back in Welshpool for at least a month, so I put the wheelchair in as visible a space as I could, right in front of the area where there were lots of bicycles, in the hope that it would be found as soon as the yard was next open and would be taken in. I was trying to dispose of it responsibly. 

“I am horrified to discover that the council has put cameras outside places like Potters to try to incriminate people like me rather than funding the yard to continue to be the useful recycling centre it has been for so many years. 

“I wonder what the cost must be of putting up cameras and having a back-up of officers to check the footage, write letters and bring prosecutions. 

“I was identified because my car number plate showed on the CCTV camera  It must surely be cheaper to fund proper recycling?

“I did ask the council officer I spoke to after having received a letter calling me  to interview how many cameras there were like the one at Potters but he said he preferred not to say since making that sort of information public could interfere with the council’s policy of pursing fly tippers.

“While fly tipping on road sides is a nightmare for us all, surely shutting recycling centres is even more counter-productive?”



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