Parents demand action to tackle flytipping outside Barkingside school

Barkingside fly-tipping issue

The flytipping near Fullwood School - pictured in September 2020 - before teachers undertook their own clean-up of the area. - Credit: Maria Espin

Parents and teachers connected to a Barkingside school have demanded someone take responsibility for its flytipping problem.

A group of parents and staff at Fullwood Primary School have spent months trying to stem the tide of this problem, with little success.

The issue became apparent after Covid restrictions forced the Burford Close facility to split pupils into three groups, with each using a separate site entrance.

One of those - used by around 240 young children - runs via a public pathway between the school and the Cranbrook Road Tesco Superstore.

Barkingside school fly-tipping

Some of the items found in the September clean up of the area surrounding the Barkingside school. - Credit: Maria Espin

Over the past six months the area has become a flytipping hotspot, the group says, prompting mass pleas for help from the council, which in turn says responsibility for the issue lies with Tesco.

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Frustrated mum-of-two Maria Espin contacted the Recorder as a "last resort": "The chasing of Redbridge Council has been ongoing for over six months.

"There has been several complaints from other parents too, and we have been trying to find ways of helping the school by trying to clean up certain areas ourselves."

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With condoms, glass bottles, gas cylinders and syringes among the items found, Maria fears her two sons are at risk on their walk to school.

Barkingside mum angry at fly-tipping

Maria reached out to the Recorder after months of complaints. - Credit: Maria Espin

A lack of progress prompted those concerned to take matters into their own hands last year. The teachers - led by headteacher Danvir Visvanathan - had a clean-up day in September, with parents following in November. 

Maria, who got involved in the latter effort, admitted feeling "passed from pillar to post" by the council and Tesco.

Barkingside mums help with fly-tipping efforts

Maria - pictured first from left - alongside fellow mums Inese and Talwinder at the November clean up of the flytipping area. - Credit: Maria Espin

Mr Visvanathan said the school first raised the issue in September last year, with its most recent complaint made last month.

A spokesperson for Redbridge Council said: “Following a site inspection, Tesco has agreed to carry out initial works to remove the accumulated litter, and has agreed to implement a regular rubbish removal schedule to prevent further waste accumulating."

Barkingside school with fly-tipping problem

The public pathway - used by 240 children to enter the school - pictured after being cleaned up. - Credit: Maria Espin

A Tesco spokesperson said: “We would encourage everyone who uses the pathway to do so responsibly and in a considerate way and dispose of waste only in designated bins and recycling facilities.

"At this stage, we’ve arranged for cleaning to take place to help address our neighbour’s immediate concerns.”  

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