SOUTHAMPTON has retained its unenviable position of being the worst place in Hampshire for fly-tipping.

The city remains the worst place in the county for the crime according to latest figures, with the local authority shelling out almost £180,000 to clear up the waste and debris.

In better news, the region reported an overall drop in the number of cases of fly-tipping in 2013 to 2014 compared with the year before.

However, the issue became a big problem for one resident who was furious when she discovered a vending machine had been left outside her house in Shirley.

Pauline Bailey reported it to the council and was told it would cost her £25 to get it removed as it was technically on private land.

Now Pauline, who lives in Freemantle but rents out the home in Stafford Road, Shirley, is calling for a change in fly-tipping policy to protect homeowners.

She said: “It’s so frustrating. I would happily champion something being done around here, like installing gates.

“But the big issue is that we are going to get to a point where there are landlords who won’t do anything about it.

“Where do we go if the council does not take any responsibility?

It is not our fault when people leave rubbish on our land and yet we have to deal with it.

“It’s not the cost that is the problem, it’s when it happens again and again. People will get fed up doing it and it could lead to rats and all sorts.”

But the city council said it is not responsible for removing rubbish on private land and urged any victims to report incidents to the police.

But Cllr Jacqui Rayment, Cabinet member for environment and transport, said improvements were being made after both the number of incidents and the cost of removal dropped year-on-year.

She said: “Although fly-tipping remains an ongoing issue in the city, I must commend the work of our park and street cleansing teams who attend hundreds of reported incidents every year, the majority of which are cleared on the same day.

“We are undertaking preventative measures like identifying hot spots, and erecting barriers and signs to deter fly-tipping.”

Latest figures

SOUTHAMPTON City Council had to deal with more than 6,000 incidents in 2013/14 according to its latest figures, far higher than its neighbours.

Of those 6,000, almost 2,500 were reported by the public, while the rest were spotted and removed by council teams during their regular rounds.

The council dealt with around 2,000 fewer cases than the year before, with removal costs dropping by £50,000 from £230,000.

But it still dealt with ten times the amount of fly-tipping incidents in Winchester, where there were just 628 in the past year costing £30,500 to clear.

In Eastleigh there were only 469 incidents at a removal cost of £43,000.

Meanwhile in the New Forest, cases rose by more than 100 to 896, with the cost of removal between £50,000-£60,000.

And Test Valley Borough Council cleared 523 incidents at a cost of £52,000.