A couple have expressed their disappointment at the council's action on fly-tipping in rural parts of Basingstoke and Deane.

The couple, who wish not to be named, have noticed several incidents of waste being dumped around Monk Sherborne in recent weeks.

It has happened roughly once a week since Easter and they say they have photographic evidence of the tips and the vehicles responsible, and that the council has not taken action.

Building waste, fences, cut up conifer trees and household goods are among the items dumped.

But they have declined to go to court to give evidence as they are fearful of retribution from the perpetrators.

"It is frustrating that there seems to be a reason not to do anything," the man told The Gazette.

"The reaction in the village is that if we were to [fly-tip], we would have a vehicle in our driveway making it quite plain [that it is illegal].

"Who in their right mind is going to make a statement and stick their head above the parapet?

"[Villagers] are sick and tired of it because it is ruining their countryside. They have had enough."

The man says that he has seen a large number of fly-tipping incidents in the Salters Heath Lane area of Monk Sherborne - one of the main routes between the village and Aldermaston Road.

There are several fields along that road, as well as it being a popular walking route for leisure hikers and children walking to the nearby school.

"When residents give them enough information, like photographic evidence or vehicle details that should be enough to get the ball rolling," he continued. "They could have been proactive with that vehicle with the police."

His wife added: "What we want to do is highlight the fact that there are massive problems.

"They are so confident they are not going to get in trouble. It is just getting more brazen.

"I don’t want us targeted or our dogs or our cars or our family. I would like to see [the council] be proactive."

The couple encouraged residents to be vigilant when employing companies or people to dispose of their rubbish.

They say that when residents agree for their waste to be disposed, they should check the company's waste disposal licence.

According to the National Fly-Tipping Prevention Group, it costs an estimated £86m-£186 million every year to investigate and clear up fly-tipping, with the cost falling on taxpayers and landowners.

It damages the environment and poses a threat to wildlife, whilst it also undermines legitimate waste disposal firms where illegal operators undercut rivals.

In 2019-20, there were just under one million fly-tipping incidents in England, with just under two thirds involving household waste.

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s Head of Environmental Services Tom Payne said: “We take incidents of fly-tipping in our borough very seriously and are aware this has been taking place in Monk Sherborne where we have removed a number of fly-tips from public land.

"While clearing fly-tips removes the waste, it does not address the root of the problem or deter people from doing it again.

"Where we have solid witness evidence we will look to prosecute offenders at the courts and our successful record over the last 12 months demonstrates what can be achieved with this public support.

"We understand that making a witness statement is an unfamiliar experience for most and a personal decision, however it is needed if we are to tackle this criminal behaviour.

“If you witness a fly-tip and it is safe to do so please make a note of any relevant vehicle registration numbers. If possible take pictures of the dumped waste or provide any dash-cam or CCTV footage you have to help us investigate these incidents as crimes.

“To provide information on this fly-tip or others in the borough please contact our Environmental Enforcement Team on 01256 844844 or www.basingstoke.gov.uk/flytipping.”