Thursday, 19 May 2005
Local resident Glyn Baker is delighted that Thurrock Council responded to his challenge to clear 10 abandonned cars from around Mardyke Valley Park.
Mr Baker contacted the council on April 27 with the challenge to remove the vehicles which were blighting the nature conservation area by 1 June. The removal process would be more of a challenge than usual because of access problems to the land.
Despite this, Thurrock Council's Street Services accepted the challenge and after meetings with the site warden and Forestry Commission, a plan of action was devised in order to remove the cars without causing any environmental damage.
All 10 cars were successfully removed on Wednesday, 11 May, plus two further vehicles. Wendy Bibby, Street Scene Services Manager said: "We are committed to making the borough cleaner and greener, and will do our best to respond to any requests from the public. I am really pleased that we were successful in responding to Mr Baker's challenge and that we were able to do it without harming the environment. It was a difficult task as all the cars were off site and lifting equipment was needed and it required a real team effort."
Mr Baker said: "I had a phone call from the contractors confirming they had cleared all the wrecks including the two I thought would be impractical to remove. I would like to say well done to everyone involved. I think the contractors have gone above and beyond the call of duty.
"Whenever I have reported easily accessible wrecks they have normally vanished within a week or so. These cars were difficult to recover and so had been left there for a while. I was determined to get them moved so I promised to donate £100 to the Davy Down Trust if the cars were gone by 1 June. All that's left now is for me to pay up."
Councillor Terry Hipsey, Cabinet Member for Environment, said: "I would like to thank Mr Baker for bringing this issue to our attention and also thank our officers for dealing with the complaint so promptly. Our open spaces are for the enjoyment of our residents and a natural habitat for wildife, not a dumping ground for abandoned vehicles or flytipping. If the culprits are caught, they will be prosecuted for their misdemeanours."
Photos available, please contact Fiona Stones.