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A RUBBISH row has broken out after Essex County Council banned people from outside the area using its tips.

County Hall bosses issued the ban after claiming they had seen a big increase of people from outside the area, such as Southend Council residents, using their tips.

The new ban has been imposed after Southend Council and Essex failed to reach an agreement that could have seen residents in either area dumping rubbish at any tip across south Essex.

The consequences of failing to reach a deal will also mean that Wakering residents will no longer be able to use Southend Council tip at Stock Road and will instead have to travel nine miles to the nearest Essex County Council tip in Rayleigh.

Richard Kirton, of the Wakering and District Heritage Group, said: “It seems petty and ridiculous and I’m concerned that we’ll see an increase in dumping again like we had a few years ago.”

Tony Porter, chairman of Great Wakering Parish Council, said: “It’s going to cost a lot of people a lot of money to go to the dump. It’s a waste of resources including petrol.”

Tony Cox, Southend Council’s cabinet member for waste, said that the councils set up an agreement about a decade ago whereby some Wakering residents could dispose of waste at Stock Road, Southend, and the county council would cover the cost.

Mr Cox said Essex County Council asked him to make a joint arrangement where residents from both authorities could use the other waste sites but it made no financial sense.

He said: “There would be more Essex residents putting waste into Southend so we would be subject to more landfill charges. The bill we gave back to Essex County Council just covered the cost of disposal.

“We’ve never encouraged Southend residents to use Essex County Council sites. Essex County Council should have been advising them to go to Leigh rather than letting them in.”

Southend Council is in the process of contacting Wakering residents to let them know that they will no longer be able to use Stock Road, from the beginning of April.

The arrangement saw Essex pay Southend £20,000 to £30,000 a year for the Wakering users.

An Essex County Council spokesman said: “It has now been necessary to implement changes and direct current users from the Southend area to one of the two facilities provided for them by Southend Council, as there is no method available for the county council to recover the additional cost to the ECC taxpayer.

“This change in approach also means it is no longer deemed necessary for Essex County Council to continue with funding access to the Southend, Stock Road, facility.”